Braves expect Tommy Hanson to be “ready to go” after shoulder problems

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Tommy Hanson missed the final two months of last season with a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, suffering multiple setbacks along the way as he unsuccessfully tried to return to the Braves’ rotation.

That makes him a big question mark for 2012, but general manager Frank Wren told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that “our expectations are that he comes into spring training ready to go.”

Wren added that Hanson “feels good” and is “doing really well” in his recovery.

Hanson got knocked around prior to landing on the disabled list, allowing 24 runs in his final 27 innings, including serving up four homers in his last start, yet still posted a 3.60 ERA and 142/46 K/BB ratio in 130 innings overall.

When healthy he’s been one of the most underrated starters in baseball, going 32-22 with a 3.28 ERA in 77 career starts through age 24.

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.