Paul LoDuca Wants To Come Back

paul-loducaThis afternoon in an appearance on XM 175 MLB Home Plate (SIRIUS 210), former Mets catcher Paul LoDuca expressed a desire to return to the big leagues in 2010.

LoDuca missed all of 2009 due to injuries, but claims he is now 100 percent healthy, and ready to make a comeback.

The feisty catcher hit .318 in 2006 with the Mets, but dropped to .272 in 2007 before leaving the team as a free agent.

Here is what LoDuca had to say on XM:

Paul Lo Duca: “I’m completely healthy. I feel unbelievable. I’ve been hitting the last four or five days constantly and started my workouts. I feel great. My hand feels 100 percent for the first time in a while. My hamstring and my knee finally healed after the surgery I had there. … I want to come back and play. When I started working with you guys (as a part-time analyst) and started really watching the games it really gave me that edge. My heart’s into it and I want to go back in it full bore and [do] whatever needs to be done. I want to play on a team that wants to win and wants a player that wants to win. I’ll do whatever I need to do. If it’s come off the bench, if it’s spot starts, I’ll do whatever they need me to do.”

Lo Duca: “I’m a realist. I’m going to be 37 but my knees feel good. I’ve only had one knee surgery. There’s no issues there. I really feel like I can offer a good bat off the bench to somebody and do whatever needs to be done. … Whatever they want me to do. I’ve played other positions before. If they need me to catch and if something goes down then I can do that as well. Whatever the manager asks me to do I’m willing to do.”

Lo Duca: “Whatever happens I’m looking just to get an invite. If you don’t like me when I’m walking in the clubhouse, hey, you don’t like me, go ahead and send me home. That’s fine. But I’m going to show up in great shape and ready to go. We’ll see what happens. I’m gung-ho. I’m really energetic about coming back. I feel like I still have a lot to offer.”

Hmm … the Mets need a catcher, a righthanded-hitting first baseman, and a left fielder — and LoDuca has ably handled all three positions as a big leaguer. He also has that “fight” and “grittiness” that Mets fans adore.

Would you give him an invitation to spring training?


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Julie November 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm
    Your tweet “Paul LoDuca Wants To Come Back” led me to this post. At first glance, I was expecting him to say ‘come back to the Mets.’ While I don’t think he’d make the team, I don’t see any harm having him come to ST.

    As you said, he’s got the grittiness that fans, like myself, liked in him. In the end, maybe he’ll have taught something to our “young” guys.

  2. Randy November 20, 2009 at 12:54 am
    He’s 38, has been a terrible hitter since 2007 (that .272 batting average came with no power, no speed and no ability to get on base). Even at his best he didn’t have enough bat for first base or left field.

    In other words, please, please, please, make this happen! Nothing would be more entertaining than watching this no-talent, light hitting, jerk teaching “grittiness” to his younger team-mates as another Mets team sinks into oblivion. I guess “grittiness” is now code for being the team steroid connection (documented in Mitchell report), cheating on your wife with not one, but two teenagers, running up big gambling debts, and welshing on large financial purchases.

  3. isuzudude November 20, 2009 at 9:22 am
    Though Randy may be a bit extreme, I feel closer to his train of thought than of Julie’s. The Mets have made it pretty clear that they are distancing themselves from anyone mentioned in the Mitchell Report, and have strayed away from signing or trading for players linked to PED usage over the last few years (maybe with the exception of Fernando Tatis, although he’s only been rumored and not officially linked). When Lo Duca’s contract was up after 2007 and he seemed like a logical choice to return, the Mets gave him the silent treatment and he instead went to Washington where he looked washed up. And further solidifying the Mets’ stance on removing the PED-linked players after 2007 was the trade of Guillermo Mota, whom they recieved virtually nothing in return for. Even though Lo Duca may be clean now, and may be healthy, for whatever reason the Mets are not going to ‘sink to the level’ of signing a former PED abuser. That’s been their stance since the MR came out, and I don’t see it changing for the likes of Paul Lo Duca.

    And let’s also remember that Lo Duca couldn’t throw a runner out at 2nd base to save his life, and that was 3 seasons ago. I can only imagine the 12-hoppers he’d be unleashing to 2B in 2010 at 38 years old. Additionally, Randy is right: Lo Duca hits for virtually no power, he doesn’t walk, and he has very little speed. Even if he’s just a ST invite, what use do the Mets really plan to get out of a no-hit, no-defense, over-the-hill player like Lo Duca? I know a lot of use think that ST invites are like pennies and that you can just throw them out to anybody because they mean so little, but you have to draw a line somewhere. Lo Duca is not worth our time.

  4. Mike November 20, 2009 at 10:59 am
    Lo Duca certainly got a bad rap among Mets fans and perhaps rightfully so. When we last saw him he couldn’t hit, couldn’t throw runners out, and really made some people around the team dislike him. Yet from where I sit Lo Duca is one of those 2006 leaders that helped make that team special. Special to a point but special none the less. I never doubted his hustle or his grit, and when he was slapping single after single for the 2006 Mets moving Jose Reyes to third base and getting on for Beltran, Delgado, Wright I didn’t notice anybody caring about his low slugging %. If Lo Duca plays 3-4 times a week and hits around .300, I don’t care where he plays, because he would be contributing. Lo Duca made that team better in 2006, recapturing any of that is worth a shot in my opinion.

    I don’t feel this is a must do move, I’ll take it or leave it, but I figure why not see where the offseason goes and then extend an invite. My real hope is that Thole can because a better version of Lo Duca who hits left handed and likely has less off field issues. Could he be a mentor to Thole? I would think so.

  5. Harry Chiti November 21, 2009 at 9:32 pm
    Another bad idea. Met fans can’t seem to get any ex-Met out of the system. LoDuca comes to spring training ….why?? either we don’t have any options other than Santos and Thole, and are therefore desperate due to another failed off season by the GM, or its a favor, taking time away from the development of young Thole…. Either way its a bad move. He’s done, he proved it in NY and then he more than proved it in DC. Let somebody else have sympathy for this roidal hero.