Francisco Liriano and Tim Hudson win Comeback Player of the Year awards

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MLB announced this afternoon that Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano and Braves right-hander Tim Hudson have won the Comeback Player of the Year awards for their respective leagues.
Liriano struggled last year in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, going 5-13 with a 5.80 ERA, but was one of baseball’s best starters this year with a 3.62 ERA and 201/58 K/BB ratio in 192 innings.
Hudson also gets the award for thriving after Tommy John surgery, although he’s about a year ahead of Liriano’s timetable. Hudson pitched well in seven starts for the Braves down the stretch last season after returning from the surgery and went 17-9 with a 2.83 ERA his season, ranking second among NL pitchers in starts (34) and fourth in innings (229).
I’ve already heard from several people questioning why Hudson was chosen over R.A. Dickey, but “comeback season” isn’t necessarily synonymous with “surprise season” and Dickey didn’t technically come back from anything unless you count surgeries that were years ago or a decade of mediocre pitching.
Last year’s winners were Aaron Hill in the AL and Chris Carpenter in the NL.

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.