Halladay brushes off questions about his health, velocity

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Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com spoke with Roy Halladay about the report of his diminished velocity and the speculation that maybe he has a physical problem.  Halladay ain’t having it. First on the idea of any health problems:

“Yeah, I heard about that … Poor reporting on the extreme end of poor reporting. It couldn’t be further from the truth.”

To be fair to Ken Rosenthal, who wrote the article to which Halladay refers, he wasn’t reporting that Halladay had health problems. He quoted a scout who speculated it.  Whatever the case, however, you take the player’s word for it unless and until the information at hand contradicts it. Halladay’s health is fine.

As for the velocity, Halladay blames age:

“Yeah, I’m 34 and 2,500 innings. It does take a while to get going. I don’t pay attention to that. The older you get, the more you throw, the longer it takes you to get yourself going … It’s not unusual. When you get older, it takes you longer. The more innings you throw the more it takes to get yourself going again.”

I have a very strong feeling that this will be forgotten about — and laughed about if it is remembered — come the end of the month.  But given the injuries to Howard and Utley, the rotation, once again, has to be stellar. So it’s not totally unreasonable to get mildly freaked about Halladay at the moment.  As long as it stays mild.

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.