Ryan Madson sidelined with numbness in his pitching hand

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Michael Stutes pitched a scoreless ninth inning in last night’s 1-0 walkoff win over the Athletics. While it wasn’t a save situation, Ryan Madson was curious in his continued absence.

According to Ray Perillo of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel admitted after the game that Madson was unavailable due to numbness in his pitching hand. He hasn’t pitched since last Saturday against the Mariners.

“For about a week now, he didn’t have feeling in his hand,” Manuel said. “Today, hopefully, he got it taken care of, and he should be able to pitch in three or four days.”

Manuel wasn’t specific about when the injury took place, but it’s believed that the numbness stems from when Madson was hit in the hand by a comebacker off the bat of David Murphy on May 20. Madson has a 4.15 ERA and 11/4 K/BB ratio over 13 innings since the date in question.

Stutes and Antonio Bastardo figure to share the closer role over the next couple of days, but one wonders if they would ramp up their pursuit of Heath Bell if Madson’s hand continues to be an issue.

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.