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Rockies release former All-Star Lo Duca

Rockies release former All-Star Lo Duca

DENVER -- Four-time All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca, released Friday from the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs, said Friday he believes he can return to the Majors this year.

Lo Duca, 38, who played for current Rockies manager Jim Tracy during some of his best days a few years back with the Dodgers, was not playing regularly. He and Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said the agreement was mutual, so Lo Duca would have a chance to pursue other opportunities.

Lo Duca, who was out of baseball in 2009 after battling injuries with the Nationals and the Marlins in 2008, hit .233 with one home run and seven RBIs in 14 games (43 at-bats) for the Sky Sox. Lo Duca's season was delayed by a muscle strain in the armpit area during Spring Training. He said he found his hitting stroke during extended Spring Training, but he joined the Sky Sox around the time that Chris Iannetta was sent down from the Majors. The Sky Sox also have prospect Michael McKenry catching.

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"It was just hard for me to get at-bats," Lo Duca said. "I played second base for one game, and I hadn't played second base since high school. It was a tough situation, with Iannetta coming down, and McKenry has to play. I understand they have guys that need to play."

Lo Duca said he and his agent, Dan Evans, are making calls but realize response might be slow because of the holiday weekend. He said the Rockies are allowing him to continue working out at the ballpark in Colorado Springs through the weekend, then he'll go home to Westbury, N.Y., to stay in shape.

"I feel as healthy as I've felt in a long time," Lo Duca said. "I feel I will be back in the big leagues sometime this year."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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