Andrew Bailey threw a 25-pitch simulated game yesterday, but afterward the A’s closer reported discomfort in the “elbow area.”
Bailey has been out since March 14 with a strained forearm and has made enough progress in his recovery to potentially begin a minor-league rehab assignment within the week, but Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the A’s will likely ask him to throw at least one more simulated game first.
“I do feel I’m getting there,” Bailey told Stiglich. “I’m not totally ready to go 100 percent. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not pulling or doing anything violent. It’s just there.”
Oakland’s bullpen has been fantastic even without Bailey, ranking second among AL teams with a 2.89 ERA, but adding a shutdown closer with a 1.70 career ERA to that mix could arguably give the A’s the deepest relief corps in the league.
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.