By Gem Tablak
Update: Wheeler has thrown bullpen sessions & has felt fine, no discomfort. Everything regarding his comeback has not been set back.
Even with the news today of Wheeler feeling some discomfort in his throwing elbow which was operated on, it’s not totally uncommon for a player to come back after a while & experience some aches & pains. But earlier in the off-season, the Mets kicked around the idea of starting Wheeler off in the bullpen & easing him into the rotation as the season progresses.
Personally, I like the idea of turning Zack Wheeler into Wade Davis 2.0 but a clearly improved version. Wheeler threw harder than Davis & had better numbers as a starter so logic tells me that he’d be a bunch better that Davis could be. Especially with the news that broke today, I think this plan is an extremely attractive way to go. But I admit, that’s all just speculation.
I found it interesting when Wheeler was quoted saying “I’m just not getting my hopes up too much, just because I’ve had too many setbacks.” The quote leads me to believe that Wheeler will see a lot more time in the bullpen than he would like.
I’d have to say that he’s handling the situation with the ruthless New York sports media quite well by also saying “I know at some point I will have to go to the bullpen thing just because of the innings” understanding the Mets only want to save his arm for the long haul.
Now what talking about how he feels about eventually starting again Wheeler went ahead & stated “They’re the boss. … I know I belong in the starting rotation, there’s no question about that. I’m a starter.”
I don’t expect this to be a major setback but I don’t think he’s in the clear. Pitchers go through it every spring training, as fans we need to understand that he’s under the microscope due to the fact he hasn’t pitched in a MLB in 2 years.
My biggest issue with Wheeler would be the same one I had before he ever got injured. He always tends to hit the 6th inning with 90+ pitches when he should be at the 75 pitch mark. It’s no surprise that pitchers that fall into that habit tend to become inconsistent over the course of their career & even leads to further injury.
Credit to SNY.tv as a reference