St. Louis’ medical staff hasn’t had the greatest track record this season, but David Freese was cleared to resume swinging yesterday and the third baseman said he’s “way ahead of schedule” in his recovery from a broken left hand.
Freese underwent surgery on May 3 and visited a hand specialist yesterday, but Austin Laymance of MLB.com reports that he’s still at least two weeks from throwing and won’t be cleared to hit baseballs until first taking hacks at wiffle balls and tennis balls.
Freese hit .356 with an .865 OPS in 25 games before breaking his hand and was given a 6-8 week recovery timetable on May 1, so with two weeks to go until he starts throwing and at least 3-4 weeks until he could potentially come off the disabled list it’s tough to see how he’s “way ahead of schedule” (or at least that schedule).
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.