Cliff Lee struck in the ear and bloodied by a broken bat splinter

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Cliff Lee struggled again last night, giving up four runs in five innings while falling to 4-6 with a 4.25 ERA in 14 starts for the Rangers, but was able to narrowly avoid being the second player this month to suffer a major injury from a broken bat.
In the fourth inning Jack Cust singled up the middle to drive in the first run of the game and his bat broke into three pieces, the smallest of which struck Lee on the right ear.
Lee seemed completely unfazed at first, focusing instead on the run he just allowed and the fact that the barrel of the bat flew over his head, but then noticed that his ear was bleeding. Pitching coach Mike Maddux came out to the mound, looked at the ear and told Lee something along the lines of “yep, it’s bleeding,” and then manager Ron Washington and the trainer hopped out of the dugout to take a look.
MLB.com has the video.
Compared to Tyler Colvin he certainly got off lucky, but how long can we keep counting on players avoiding major injuries by a matter of inches?

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.