Josh Hamilton feeling no improvement in sore ribs

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Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was given a rare double-dose of cortisone injections on Wednesday of this week in the area of his sore ribcage.  It hasn’t helped.

According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, the injured MVP candidate felt the same Saturday as he did on Wednesday and is not optimistic about his chances of returning before the end of September.

“Obviously the best-case scenario is getting back and getting a good
last week of the regular season … get some at-bats,” said Hamilton. “At the moment, I
don’t see that happening.”

Right now, this isn’t a major issue.  The Rangers are up 9.5 games over the A’s in the American League West and Hamilton has already turned in a season worthy of baseball’s greatest awards.  But if the lingering rib soreness affects his readiness for the postseason — which it most likely will — Texas’ starting lineup won’t be nearly as frightening in a five- or seven-game setting.

Hamtilon, 29, has posted a major league-leading .361 batting average, 31 home runs and 97 RBI in 507 at-bats this season while showing excellent range in center field.

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.