Brandon Webb finally provided some reason for optimism last week by tossing three shutout innings in a rehab start at Double-A, but that all vanished in his follow-up start Sunday when he failed to make it out of the first inning while allowing four runs.
Afterward the rehabbing former Cy Young winner told Louie Horvath of MLB.com that he “felt pretty good” and “didn’t think there was a hard-hit ball” among the six hits he allowed while recording two outs, saying: “There were four of them that were ground balls in the hole, one little blooper.”
Even at his best Webb never succeeded because of his velocity, so inducing lots of ground balls is a good sign for one of the most ground-ball heavy pitchers in baseball, but ultimately he has an 11.57 ERA in three starts at Double-A and hasn’t faced big-league hitters since Opening Day of 2009. Texas is running out of time to get anything from their $3 million investment.
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.