Carl Pavano beats Red Sox, continues to thrive for Twins

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Ron Gardenhire said before this afternoon’s Target Field opener that he was glad the Twins had Carl Pavano lined up for the start because the 34-year-old right-hander had pitched for the Marlins in the World Series and on a big stage with the Yankees.
Yankees fans who watched his forgettable five-year stint in New York will probably get a chuckle out of that notion and it seems far-fetched to me too, but there’s denying how well Pavano has pitched since joining the Twins in the middle of last season.
Acquired from the Indians in early August for mid-level pitching prospect Yohan Pino, Pavano tossed six innings of one-run ball against the Red Sox today and is now 7-4 with a 4.15 ERA and 69/17 K/BB ratio in 86.2 innings for the Twins. He also pitched well in his lone playoff start last October, holding the Yankees to a pair of runs over seven innings in a tough loss.
Pavano’s name will forever bring up bad memories for Yankees fans and because of that he’ll probably never live down the reputation for being an oft-injured disappointment, but he hasn’t missed a start since 2008 and has reemerged as a very solid mid-rotation starter. Regardless of the size of the stage.

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.