LaTroy Hawkins goes back on DL with more shoulder pain

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LaTroy Hawkins missed three months with shoulder soreness earlier this season, appeared in five games for the Brewers after returning from the disabled list late last month, and is now back on the shelf with what is being called “shoulder weakness.”
Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Hawkins will get a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum early next week, but the veteran right-hander doesn’t sound optimistic about his status:

I want to be able to carry my own weight. Shoot, I can’t carry my own weight right now. It’s miserable being out there in the bullpen and you can’t carry your own weight.

Hawkins has been one of the best and most durable relievers in baseball for the past decade, averaging 65 appearances and 68 innings per season since 2000 while posting a 3.24 ERA. He’s thrown at least 50 innings every season since 1997, but is currently 0-3 with an 8.44 ERA in 16 innings after signing a two-year, $7.5 million deal with the Brewers this winter.
The lesson, of course, is that good, durable 37-year-old pitchers are still 37-year-old pitchers and signing them to multi-year contracts often turns out badly. Milwaukee owes him $4 million for 2011.

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.