The Mets gave Chipper Jones a going away present

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Chipper Jones has received various items from opposing teams during his farewell tour around MLB. A cowboy hat here, a surfboard there. You know the deal. However, given his history of tormenting the Mets, many wondered what he would receive from the club upon arriving to Citi Field today. Perhaps something traditional like a gold watch?  Maybe something a bit more sentimental like a seat from Shea Stadium? How about a one-way ticket back to Atlanta? Nope.

Via the Mets’ Twitter account, COO Jeff Wilpon presented Jones with a painting by artist Charles Fazzino during a press conference before tonight’s game:

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That’s…interesting. Just in case you can’t tell, the pop piece depicts Jones back at Shea Stadium, complete with a fan yelling “Larrrry” from the stands. That’s a cool touch. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a mix of boos and cheers could be heard when the Mets showed a video before the game of Jones receiving his going away present. Many words were wasted on whether the Mets should pay tribute to Jones at all, but it looks like they handled this situation just about right. If only they could do that a little more often.

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.