Joe Mauer is one hit away from 1,000 for his career, which would be the fifth-most ever by a catcher through age 27:
Ivan Rodriguez 1333
Ted Simmons 1279
Johnny Bench 1246
Joe Torre 1087
JOE MAUER 999
He’ll likely end up with around 1,020 hits by season’s end.
Missing most of his rookie season with a knee injury hurts Mauer’s through-age-27 hit total, and his excellent patience at the plate also means he’s traded some hits for walks. He’s drawn 430 free passes, which is the fourth-most ever by a catcher through age 27:
Johnny Bench 516
Darrell Porter 510
Butch Wynegar 450
JOE MAUER 430
Ted Simmons 427
Mauer has hit .355 in 53 games since the Twins lost Justin Morneau to a concussion on July 7, raising his season mark to .324, but because of a mediocre (for him, at least) first half and Josh Hamilton hitting .361 he’ll need a miracle to win his fourth batting title in five seasons.
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.