The Rays waited out Juan Carlos Oviedo’s rehab from Tommy John surgery in hopes that he would emerge as a valuable piece in their bullpen this season, but he was designated for assignment this afternoon in order to make way for Jeremy Hellickson’s return from the minors.
After missing all of 2013, Oviedo has posted a 3.69 ERA and 26/16 K/BB ratio over 31 2/3 innings this season. The 32-year-old made himself expendable by allowing 10 runs over his last 15 appearances. He’s owed a little under $750,000 for the remainder of the season, so somebody could take a chance on him the rest of the way.
Hellickson was optioned to Double-A prior to the All-Star break in order to stay fresh, but he’ll return to start tonight against the Red Sox. Sidelined for most of the year following February elbow surgery, the 27-year-old allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings in his season debut against the Royals on July 8.
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.
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.