Manny Machado suffers severe leg injury versus Rays

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All-Star third baseman Manny Machado injured his left knee stepping awkwardly on first base in the seventh inning Monday and had to be carted off the field in the loss to the Rays.

The Orioles declined to go into detail about the injury after the game, but they said the plan was for Machado to travel home with the team and undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

While injuries of this nature typically happen on bang-bang plays at first base where the runner is trying to stretch that extra bit, Machado had eased up and was watching the ball, which had skipped away, as his left foot hit the side of the bag and rolled. He immediately went down in pain and was clearly in agony as he was being attended to.

The injury will obviously keep Machado sidelined for the rest of 2013, and the Orioles can only hope it’s not something that’s going to linger into next year. The 21-year-old Machado has established himself as one of the game’s very best young players while hitting .282/.313/.431 with 14 homers and 51 doubles and playing Gold Glove defense at third base this year.

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.