Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd was struck on the side of the head by an Alfredo Aceves pitch in the second inning of Saturday’s game against the Red Sox.
The Aceves breaking ball rose quickly on Byrd, who attempted to dip his head back at the last second. That motion exposed his left eye from the protective flap and brim of his batting helmet, and he took the pitch square without any sort of ricochet.
Byrd was able to walk off the field under his own power, but a trainer was covering the left side of his face with a towel and blood was spotted by the FOX cameras. He at least suffered a cut, and possibly something much more serious. It was his first at-bat of the game.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com says that Byrd is being taken to a local hospital for evaluation. He never lost consciousness but has a gash under his left eye. There should be updates throughout the night.
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.