Twins activate right-hander Joe Nathan from disabled list

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As reported Thursday by Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 AM, the Twins have activated Joe Nathan from the disabled list and will have him available for Friday’s series-opener against the Brewers.

Jim Hoey, who has surrendered 22 hits and 17 runs in 14 innings of relief this season, was optioned back to Triple-A Rochester to make room.

Nathan returned a bit too quickly this year from Tommy John surgery and posted a 7.63 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 17 appearances before landing on the disabled list in late May with inflammation in his elbow. He made three rehab appearances with Rochester this week, allowing only two hits and an unearned run while striking out five.

Matt Capps has done a fine job as Minnesota’s closer since Nathan’s early struggles got him removed from the role, and the current setup isn’t likely to change unless Nathan begins mowing batters down with great frequency. For now, the 36-year-old will simply try to get back to basics in setup duty.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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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.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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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.