Stephen Strasburg appears likely to miss another start

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As Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington notes, Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to make his scheduled start Sunday against the Phillies.

Starting pitchers usually require a bullpen session a few days before they take the mound and the Nats have shut their prized right-hander down indefinitely.  Even if he’s cleared to throw Friday, the Nationals won’t want to rush him into a Sunday afternoon start. 

Zuckerman asked manager Jim Riggleman if he would be surprised to see Strasburg take the mound against the Phils, and here was his response:

“I don’t want to say I’ll be surprised, because then if I pitch him
Sunday, it contradicts itself. But as you said, we’ve been cautious, and
we’ll continue to be cautious.”

Strasburg was scratched Monday after reporting soreness in his throwing shoulder and he was later revealed to have a bit of inflammation.  He is already the face of the franchise in Washington and the Nats aren’t chasing a pennant this season.  We would be shocked if he pitches before Monday of next week, when the Nationals kick off a four-game series in Arizona.

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.