With an injury-riddled season behind them, the Mets could see all five starters back in the rotation for 2017. That includes 28-year-old right-hander Jacob deGrom, who told the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan that he hasn’t had pain in his elbow after recovering from ulnar nerve surgery last September.
Prior to missing the last month of the 2016 season with elbow issues, deGrom pitched to a 3.04 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.7 SO/9 over 148 innings. The right-hander has been working his way back to the mound over the offseason and started throwing to Mets’ backstop Travis d'Arnaud last week.
Getting all five of the Mets’ star pitchers — deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler — to the mound in the same season will still take some effort, however. Harvey underwent a procedure to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome last July, while Matz had a bone spur removed from his left elbow in September.
Both pitchers appear on track to pitch during spring training, with Wheeler as a potential outlier as he continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery in 2015. The 26-year-old is treating this offseason as a normal one, per Newsday’s Anthony Rieber, but is expected to shoulder a lighter load with the team in 2017. He could ease back into a major league role by switching to long relief, but said that he would prefer to remain a starter if possible.
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.