This passage from Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle is a couple of days old, but it’s still a head-scratcher:
Mike Rizzo kept saying Stephen Strasburg wasn’t ready for the majors, even when Strasburg tore through spring training like a hurricane and dazzled in the minor leagues.
Tuesday’s stunning debut should have been Strasburg’s 11th big-league start, not his first, and the Nats should be in the thick of the division race.
Talk about misreading the emotional makeup of the No. 1 draft pick.
Ostler may be the only person on the planet who doesn’t believe that keeping Strasburg down until June 8th was a service time move as opposed to a readiness move. Which would normally be fine — sometimes ignorance of such things makes it easier to enjoy baseball — but in this case his ignorance is being used to criticize Mike Rizzo unfairly, and that’s not cool.
Rizzo may be fibbing about why Strasburg was on the farm so long, but the silly rules in place all but require that. And all of us, save Scott Ostler, seemed to know it.
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.