What Kind of Hitter is Zack Wheeler? A Pitcher.

So, the bad news Wednesday was that Zack Wheeler came up with a mild oblique strain and could not make his scheduled start. Wheeler hurt himself in the batting cage, doing a drill that manager Terry Collins said the team has done “everyday.”

The Mets emphasized that they were being cautious with their prized pitching prospect. Collins explained post-game, “There’s no sense in pushing it…We gotta be very, very careful.”

In the minors, pitchers only bat at double-A and above, and only when two National League teams play each other. Wheeler did not bat until 2012, when he had 16 plate appearances for AA Binghamton and five for AAA Buffalo. If you’re curious, he was 1-for-17 with three sacrifices, a double, a walk and 11 strikeouts for a .059 combined average between the two levels.

I was curious what kind of swing Zack Wheeler owns. Terry Collins did not appear to like the question, responding,  “What do you want me to say, Toby, he’s a National League pitcher, he’s gotta hit…. He’s not going to hit fourth.” 

So there you have it: Zack Wheeler, great pitching prospect, but no Matt Harvey at the plate.