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Notes: Lo Duca sidelined again

Notes: Lo Duca sidelined again

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- His Spring Training already reduced by suspected food poisoning last week, Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca is likely to miss a few more days because of tendinitis in his right hand.

Lo Duca received a cortisone injection in the hand on Thursday and missed the Mets' workout. Indications from the club were that he had received the same treatment each of the previous six springs as a means of preventing greater incapacity.

"It's not that serious," manager Willie Randolph said. "We'll know more in a few days."

Lo Duca had said he experienced no problems from swinging or catching with his left hand. He underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left thumb shortly after the playoffs in October.

Floyd instructed to bunt? After Cliff Floyd struck out with two on and no outs and the Mets trailing by two runs in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series, critics second-guessed Randolph for not opting to have someone bunt in that situation. Randolph said afterward that he had no regrets, adding that he doesn't believe in giving up outs.

But now Floyd is asserting, in Wednesday's New York Daily News, that Randolph wanted to bunt in that situation, but that bench coach Jerry Manuel persuaded him to do differently

"Jerry Manuel talked him out of it," Floyd, now with the Cubs, is quoted as saying. "That's what bench coaches do, I guess. I'm not second-guessing him."

Randolph on Wednesday didn't want to dignify the remarks.

"That's his opinion," Randolph said. "I don't see how he can know that anyhow. He wasn't sitting on my shoulder when were talking about it. So that's his viewpoint of what he thought he knew."

Manuel called Floyd's comments "a cloud without rain," meaning they were impotent, with no significant meaning. Randolph later added his two cents to the cloud analogy: "This is a cloud. The only way it rains is to poke a hole in it, and I'm not going to do that."

Newhan staying grounded: David Newhan, who played more innings in the outfield than in the infield in his three seasons with the Orioles, is doing more work in the infield in this camp.

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"I need the work on ground balls," he said. "The reads off the bat for the outfield will come. There are no bad hops in the air."

Mets sign pair: The club signed left-handed pitcher Mike Bynum and right-handed pitcher Jose Santiago to Minor League contracts. Both pitchers are to report to Minor League camp on March 2.

Bynum, 28, missed the entire 2006 season, recovering from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. He last pitched in the Tigers organization in 2005. Bynum was drafted by the Padres -- he was the 19th selection overall -- in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft.

Santiago, 32, pitched four games for the Mets in 2005 and spent last season pitching in Mexico. He has a 17-22 record and 4.36 ERA in 229 Major League appearances with the Royals, Phillies, Indians and Mets. His inability to catch a routine return throw from the catcher in a September 2001 games enabled the Mets to beat the Phillies.

Aguayo, McCraw hired: Former Phillies infielder Luis Aguayo has been hired to serve as the Mets' Minor League field coordinator. He had spent the last three years in the Reds organization.

Aguayo, 48, will supervise each of the Minor League teams throughout the season. In addition, he will oversee Spring Training for the Minor League teams, extended Spring Training and the Mets' fall instructional league team.

Former White Sox first baseman Tom McCraw, who was the Mets' big-league hitting coach from 1992-96 under Jeff Torborg and Dallas Green, was hired as hitting coach for the Gulf Coast Mets.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. Charlie Nobles contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["spring_training" ] }
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