Padres pick Jon Garland as Opening Day starter

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Bud Black announced that Jon Garland will the Padres’ Opening Day starter, with Chris Young and Kevin Correia following him in the rotation.
“We just feel pretty good about these three guys,” Black told Corey Brock of MLB.com while refusing to name the Padres’ fourth and fifth starters. Clayton Richard and Matt Latos are expected to claim the final two spots in the rotation.
Garland getting the Opening Day nod is surprising because he’s never started Game 1 before in nine previous seasons and just signed with the Padres as a free agent in January, whereas Young has been the team’s best non-Jake Peavy starter for most of the past four seasons and Correia had twice as many wins as anyone else on the pitching staff last year.
Garland has a 6.37 ERA in four starts this spring after going 11-13 with a 4.01 ERA and 109/61 K/BB ratio in 33 starts split between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers last season.

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.