Cole Hamels excellent in return from disabled list

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It’s safe to say that a little bit of rest was just what the doctor ordered for Cole Hamels.

Hamels, who placed on the disabled list earlier this month with left shoulder inflammation, allowed one run on two hits over six innings tonight against the Reds. It was his first start since August 12.

The southpaw didn’t surrender his first hit until Brandon Phillips led off the fourth inning with a triple. It was ruled as a hit, even though the fly ball was badly misplayed by Hunter Pence in right field. Phillips eventually came in to score on a groundout by Joey Votto.

Hamels struck out seven while walking none and averaged 90.12 mph on his fastball, according to Brooks Baseball. He threw 50 out 76 pitches for strikes before being replaced by Antonio Bastardo to begin the bottom of the seventh inning with score tied at 1-1. While it would have been nice to see him stick around for a chance at the win, the Phillies are obviously more concerned about having him healthy and effective for the postseason.

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.