NatsTown is suddenly a very hot ticket with the news of Stephen Strasburg’s imminent promotion. And according to what Roy Oswalt told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on Tuesday, he wouldn’t mind hitching his wagon (or tractor) to the surprising ballclub.
“They’ve been playing well,” Oswalt said. “They’ve got a good offensive
club. I saw where they have Strasburg coming up. He should make an
immediate impact, especially, because no one’s seen him in the league,
early. There’s always a little adjustment period there.”
Oswalt went on to call the National League East “wide open” and that he would be willing to play “anywhere” where he can contend. Entering play on Tuesday, the Nationals are 26-26 and just 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves.
Oswalt, 32, is 3-7 with a 2.78 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 11 starts with the Astros this season. He is owed $15 million this season, $16 million in 2011 and either $16 million or a $2 million buyout in 2012.
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.
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.