New manager Terry Collins laid out the Mets’ bullpen plan to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, saying that he expects D.J. Carrasco to work the seventh inning and Bobby Parnell to work the eighth inning setting up closer Francisco Rodriguez.
Parnell made a team-high 68 appearances as a rookie in 2009, but then spent the first three months of last season at Triple-A before being called up in late June. He was very impressive after that, appearing in 41 of the final 93 games while posting a 2.83 ERA and 33/8 K/BB ratio in 35 innings.
Parnell is a prototypical late-inning reliever, as his average fastball clocked in at 96.5 miles per hour for the fifth-highest velocity among all pitchers who logged at least 30 innings in 2010. Carrasco doesn’t quite fit that same mold, averaging just 90.4 mph with his fastball, but he’s posted a sub-4.00 ERA in three straight years. They’re a solid setup duo, although the overall success of the Mets’ bullpen hinges on Rodriguez being healthy and non-violent in 2011.
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.