David Aardsma has struggled mightily at Triple-A while on a rehab assignment for his offseason hip surgery, allowing seven runs in four innings, and now he’s been diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.
He’s scheduled to get a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum, who is probably second to only Dr. James Andrews when it comes to names you don’t want attached to stories about pitchers.
Or as Larry Stone of the Seattle Times put it: “Not good news.”
Brandon League has thrived as Seattle’s closer in Aardsma’s absence, converting 9-of-9 save chances with a 3.77 ERA and 12/2 K/BB ratio in 14 innings, but dating all the way back to the middle of last season the Mariners had been hoping to get some value for Aardsma via trade. Now he might be out until 2012.
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.