Prior to tonight’s game against the Angels, Joe Girardi told Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger that Alex Rodriguez is on track to return from the disabled list when the Yankees are on the road next week.
“I don’t know if Monday is realistic,” Girardi said. “Part of it probably depends on where he starts and how he feels in those next couple of games. But I think next week is realistic.”
Rodriguez has been sidelined since undergoing surgery on July 11 to repair a slightly torn meniscus in his right knee. He ran the bases for the first time today at the Yankees’ spring training complex in Tampa, Florida and also took batting practice. Barring any setbacks, he is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment on either Friday or Saturday.
Rodriguez, 36, is hitting .295/.366/.485 with 13 homers, 52 RBI and an .852 OPS over 344 plate appearances this season. He was homerless over his final 85 at-bats before hitting the disabled list.
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.