Will the Yankees wait for Nick Johnson to get healthy?

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Nick Johnson has started to work his way back from mid-May wrist surgery, but Brian Costello of the New York Post reports that the oft-injured designated hitter “is still a few weeks away from playing in a game” at extended spring training.
So far Johnson has simply begun hitting off a tee and given his lengthy injury history “a few weeks” could easily turn into a few months, as he’s played in more than 100 games just four times in nine full seasons as a major leaguer.
Signed to replace Johnny Damon in the Yankees’ lineup, Johnson hit just .167 in 24 games before going on the DL, although the low batting average did come with his usual outstanding plate discipline and he got on base at an impressive .388 clip thanks to twice as many walks (24) as hits (12).
Eight different players have started at DH while Johnson has been sidelined. Jorge Posada leads the way with 19 starts and Alex Rodriguez is second with seven, so the Yankees have taken advantage of Johnson’s injury by using the DH spot to rest their other banged-up veterans. However, if he suffers a setback it seems likely that they would be in the market for a big bat before July 31, so the next couple weeks are crucial for Johnson.

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.