Mike Lowell limps off with bruised left knee

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As if he needed another injury to come back from, Mike Lowell limped off the field today after fouling a ball off his leg and has been diagnosed with a left knee contusion.
Ian Browne of MLB.com notes that “Lowell immediately fell to the ground and appeared to be in considerable pain” before being helped off the field by a trainer and manager Terry Francona.
In coming back from hip and thumb injuries Lowell’s spring training debut was delayed until March 15 and now it’ll be even tougher for the Red Sox to convince teams to trade for him before Opening Day.
Lowell was all but traded to the Rangers for prospect Max Ramirez in December when the need for thumb surgery nixed the swap. Since then the Red Sox signed Adrian Beltre to play third base, so if Lowell isn’t dealt he’s destined for a part-time job backing up the infield corners and perhaps getting some time at designated hitter against lefties. Both the team and Lowell have been pretty open about wanting to find him a new home.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.