Paul Lo Duca calls Mets catchers “schmucks” and calls Omar Minaya an “idiot”

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Former Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca is a Brooklyn guy with a lot of attitude so he’s naturally called on by talk radio guys when something pithy is required. He definitely delivered with WFAN hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts this afternoon when asked to talk about the state of the Mets.

He was critical of Mets catchers saying “I could hit better left-handed than the schmucks they’ve got there now.” He also called former Mets GM Omar Minaya an “idiot” and mocked Citi Field’s dimensions and/or David Wright, saying “your franchise player is a hitting star who has four home runs!”

Maybe Lo Duca could hit better than the Mets catchers, but maybe that’s because he was juiced up to the gills for most of his career. And maybe Omar Minaya was an idiot, but I don’t think he ever did anything as dumb as pay his drug dealer with a personal check and then write the same drug dealer a personal note on team letterhead about, man, sorry that the check I wrote you was returned! Or, say, cheat on his wife with a teenaged mistress and then pose for pictures with her when he’s trying to be on the down low about it.

But I guess he really stuck it to those schmucks and idiots on the Mets, huh?

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.