Getty Images

The Giants are interested in bat-flipping KBO product Jae-gyun Hwang

2 Comments

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Giants are showing interested in Korean third baseman Jae-gyun Hwang.

Hwang, who held a showcase for roughly 20 MLB teams back in November, is 29 and has a pretty decent line of .285/.349/.433 over 10 seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization. He slugged 26 homers over 118 games last year with the Lotte Giants. His peak season came in 2014 when he hit an amazing .356/.439/.739 with 40 homers in only 117 games. As you probably know by now, however, KBO is a pretty offensive-heavy league, inflating many a player’s power numbers. As yet we probably don’t have enough data to make good projections for a player coming here from there — some have done well, others not so well — but Hwang is at least a plausible option for the Giants’ somewhat unsettled third base situation.

We do know this, though: if Hwang does make the Giants and continues to do this kind of thing after homers . . .

. . . his teammate Madison Bumgarner will find himself in an awkward spot. Or maybe it’s the case that the only people who have to play the game the right way play for opposing teams. I’m not totally clear on that.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
2 Comments

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

Bart Young/Getty Images
7 Comments

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.