Casey Kelly undergoing tests for sore pitching elbow, could need Tommy John surgery

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Troubling news this evening out of Padres camp.

According to beat writer Corey Brock of MLB.com, top pitching prospect Casey Kelly “will have tests done” this week on his right (pitching) elbow, which has been plagued by soreness since his last Cactus League start on March 7 against the Angels.

Kelly began experiencing elbow discomfort last April and was shut down for the next three months as a precautionary measure. Tests taken throughout that period of rest ruled out any structural damage, but there is obviously something not quite right.

The 23-year-old right-hander was rated the Padres’ top prospect this winter by Baseball America and he ranked 45th on Baseball America‘s Top 100 for 2013. The future remains bright but is for now partly cloudy.

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UPDATE, 6:54 PM: Padres manager Bud Black told Brock that the “doctors are concerned what the tests look like” and said Kelly needs to talk to his family before making any further decisions. He may also get a second opinion on the elbow. It seems like Kelly is headed for Tommy John reconstructive surgery.

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.

Ichiro wants to play until he’s 50

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Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is entering his 25th season as a professional baseball player and his 17th in the major leagues. The 43-year-old is potentially under contract through the 2018 season if the Marlins choose to pick up his club option.

Few players are able to continue their careers into their mid-40’s. No surprise, Suzuki is the oldest position player in baseball. Only Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon, is older, and only by 51 days. Suzuki, however, wants to play until he’s 50 years old, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports.

“I’m not joking when I say it,” Suzuki said. He continued, “Nobody knows what the future holds. But the way I feel, how I’m thinking, I feel like nothing can stop me from doing it. When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest.”

When asked about what will happen when Suzuki finally does decide to retire, Suzuki responded, “I think I’ll just die.”

Last season, Suzuki showed he still has plenty left in the tank. He hit .291/.354/.376 with 21 extra-base hits, 48 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 365 plate appearances. If the Marlins’ outfielders stay healthy, Suzuki won’t be starting many games in 2017. He started in right field frequently during the second half last year, filling in for the injured Giancarlo Stanton.