Jonny Gomes tells ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that he plans to play in 2017. He said, “I’ve got some more pull homers in the tank.”
To be charitable, he certainly conserved those pull homers over the past couple of years, so maybe he does a have a few left. It works like that, right? I assume so. With Christmas fast approaching I’m far too busy to check, but we’ll go with it for now.
Gomes, who is 36, last appeared in the majors in 2015 while batting .213/.313/.347 with seven homers, 26 RBI and a good half dozen stories about his leadership and clubhouse presence in 262 plate appearances between the Braves and Royals. Last year he really conserved those pull homers, hitting only one, while playing only 18 games with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League before the parties agreed to part ways.
Whether any team rewards Gomes’ prudent refusal to waste the finite number of home runs he was allocated years ago with a contract is unclear, but it will be a minor league one if a deal does, indeed, come to pass. The minor leaguers with whom he’ll play a lot of late inning spring training games had best be prepared to be led like they’ve never been led before.
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.