The Zack Wheeler Question

Wheeler Vegas HeadAndy Martino has a fun piece for his Baseball Insider Blog at the Daily News about Zack Wheeler in which different Mets officials say slightly different thing about Zack Wheeler.

Unidentified person 1 on Wheeler and his last two excellent starts:

“Oh, the timetable has accelerated a lot,” said one club official. “He’s had two good ones, and if he has two more, you’ll see him up here. If all goes well we’re talking about June 1 at the latest.”

And number 2:

A separate high-ranking team source characterized June 1 as “a little aggressive. We’re still taking it start-to-start.”

Martino’s sources downplayed the importance of Wheeler’s Super-Two status relative to the pitcher’s overall readiness.

Wheeler has been great in his last two starts: 12.2 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 12 K, 0.71 ERA. However, in his first five starts, he owned a 5.70 ERA and opponents were hitting a robust .283/.385/.500 against him with 15 walks in 23.2 innings. That’s a pretty sharp divide.

If he throws like he did in April – that is struggling with his command – in his next few starts, he won’t be in the big leagues on June 1. If he shoves it, and hits his spots, he will be. This is not that hard. The minor leagues are for a guy like Zack Wheeler, learning. Yes, he will learn at the big league level, but he should be as prepared as possible when he gets there.

Even Wheeler’s own boosters, like Las Vegas manager Wally Backman want to see him make at least a few more AAA starts. “Personally, I think if he has a couple of more starts like his last start he’ll be headed to the big leagues, and rightfully so…”

Wheeler has talked about the mechanical adjustments he made which has helped his location. The 2013 Mets are not going to the playoffs. If Wheeler has a few more dominating starts, he will be in the big leagues. And soon Mets fans will have another reason to watch on days when Matt Harvey is not throwing.

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