The United States has done well in the 2017 World Baseball Classic as it advanced to the second round with a 2-1 record. While the U.S. roster is chock full of All-Stars, it is noticeably lacking baseball’s best talent, namely Mike Trout.
Trout, who debuted in 2011, declined to participate in the WBC in 2013 as well as ’17. However, his interest in the international competition has increased after watching this year’s games and now says he’ll “probably do it” when the WBC comes back around again, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Trout said, “I mean, definitely, in the future, for sure. If I get the opportunity to do it again, I’ll probably do it.” Asked to elaborate on why he declined his most recent invitation, the WBC was likened to the Home Run Derby. To that, Trout responded, “Yeah, that hits it on the nose.”
The 25-year-old phenom is entering his seventh season in the major leagues. He won his second career American League Most Valuable Player Award after hitting .315/.441/.550 with 29 home runs, 100 RBI, 123 runs scored, and 30 stolen bases in 681 plate appearances. Trout is unequivocally the best player in baseball and is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest players to ever live. The U.S. is clearly not competing at full strength with Trout absent from the roster.
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.