Knee injury voids Chris Coghlan’s demotion to Triple-A, sends him to DL instead

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Before hiring an 80-year-old as their new manager the Marlins made a different surprising move last week by demoting former Rookie of the Year and Opening Day center fielder Chris Coghlan to Triple-A, but the transaction has been voided because Coghlan informed the team of a knee injury and has instead been placed on the disabled list.

That may not seem like a big distinction, particularly since Coghlan will surely head out on a minor-league rehab assignment once healthy, but in the meantime he’ll collect an MLB salary and accrue MLB service time. In other words, it’s a big difference for his wallet and for the timing of his arbitration eligibility and (eventually) free agency.

Coghlan hit just .230 with five homers and a .668 OPS in 65 games, but based on their respective track records replacements Emilio Bonifacio and DeWayne Wise don’t figure to be any better offensively. Wise has drawn all three starts since Coghlan lost the job, but he’s a 33-year-old journeyman with a .222 batting average and .640 OPS in 379 games.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.