Mets will give Lucas Duda a shot to run away with the starting first base job

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Lucas Duda and Ike Davis were supposed to compete for the Mets’ starting first base job during spring training, but both players were injured for most of the Grapefruit League schedule, so we entered the regular season without a resolution. However, the Mets appear ready to make a choice.

According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, Duda will start at first base Friday and will get a shot to run away with the job. Davis arguably has the greater long-term upside, but the Mets shopped him for most of the winter, which is perhaps of an indication of the front office’s preference.

This is a good time for the Mets to give Duda an extended look, as the club is expected to face all right-handed starters until at least next weekend in Los Angeles. Josh Satin still figures to get most of the at-bats at first base against southpaws regardless of whether the club eventually settles on Duda or Davis.

Duda, 28, entered today’s action with a .246/.341/.423 career batting line.

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.