The future is nigh.
2009 No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley will make his major league debut against the Phillies a little over two hours from now. And according to Greg Johns of MLB.com, the 23-year-old second baseman will bat seventh.
I know, I know. While it’s tempting to lose it over Ackley batting seventh, it would be unfair to install him as the No. 2 hitter right out of the gate, especially with Roy Oswalt on the hill for the Phillies. Granted, Oswalt hasn’t been himself lately, but that’s no easy task, even for someone with a polished approach like Ackley. Let’s not cast him as the lineup’s savior.
Ackley had a .421 on-base percentage with Triple-A Tacoma and compiled a ridiculous 117/130 K/BB ratio over 918 plate appearances in the minor leagues, so it won’t be long before he’s the No. 2 hitter behind Ichiro. It might not happen tomorrow or even next week, but it will happen soon enough.
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.