Not interested in tonight’s big college football game between LSU and Alabama? Fortunately there’s also some baseball on the tube. Some of the game’s best prospects will be on hand for tonight’s Rising Stars Game in the Arizona Fall League, which will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 8 p.m. ET.
The main attraction will be 2010 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Harper, who has made a mockery of AFL pitching in recent days, but tonight’s game is also a showcase for the first two picks of this year’s First-Year Player Draft. The hard-throwing Gerrit Cole, who was selected first overall by the Pirates in June, will make the start for the East team while Mariners prospect left-hander Danny Hultzen gets the call for the West.
Below are your lineups for tonight. Some other names of note include Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout and Royals’ prospect outfielder Wil Myers.
Rising Stars East lineup: RF – Robbie Grossman (Pirates), CF – Mike Trout (Angels), SS – Junior Lake (Cubs), 3B – Nolan Arenado (Rockies), DH – Bryce Harper (Nationals), C – Derek Norris (Nationals), 1B – Ben Paulsen (Rockies), 2B – Brian Dozier (Twins), LF – Tim Wheeler (Rockies)
Rising Stars West lineup: CF – Kevin Mattison (Marlins), SS – Nick Franklin (Mariners), RF – Wil Myers (Royals), 3B – Mike Olt (Rangers) , DH – Michael Choice (Athletics), 1B – Joey Terdoslavich, LF (Braves) – Jaff Decker (Padres), C – Christian Bethancourt (Braves), 2B – Christian Colon (Royals)
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.