CC Sabathia out until “at least July” after stem-cell injection

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Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said today that CC Sabathia’s return from the disabled list “will be no sooner than six weeks from now” after the left-hander received a stem-cell injection in his injured knee from Dr. James Andrews.

That means Sabathia will definitely be out until at least July and probably means he won’t pitch again until after the All-Star break.

Here’s exactly what Cashman said, via Joel Sherman of the New York Post:

Our dialogue with Andrews has been good and the small sample of stem cell procedures, the results are very successful. But he has to be pain free before strengthening, so there is a way to go. Because he is a starter it will take longer. I have no idea how long it will be and if it will be successful. We are hoping it is six weeks to a major league return.

“I have no idea how long it will be and if it will be successful” doesn’t sound very promising and suggests Sabathia might be out a whole lot longer than six weeks.

Sabathia has a 4.87 ERA in 40 starts since the beginning of last season and is still owed $23 million this season, $23 million next season, and $25 million in 2016, plus a potential $25 million vesting option or $5 million buyout for 2017.

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.