Ryan Braun is back in the starting lineup tonight against the Diamondbacks. He was held out of the lineup the previous two days after leaving Saturday’s game with recurring tightness in his left calf.
While this is a positive development for a lineup that was blanked by Josh Collmenter last night, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Braun won’t play all nine innings. Instead, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke would prefer to ease him back into the lineup.
“We’re going to try to get him back where there are no setbacks,” said Roenicke. “He felt great today; he wanted to play. It may be on an off (between nine innings and shorter appearances). A lot depends on how he feels. I saw him running yesterday and he was really good. He’s way better than he was a few days ago.”
Braun has missed 10 out of the last 13 games with the injury and while he told Haudricourt that he’s “done talking” about the injury and just wants to play, this seems like a very risky thing to do with one of your most important players.
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.