After numerous setbacks, Zack Wheeler is on track to be a big part of the Mets’ plans next season.
Zack Wheeler spoke to reporters at Citi Field on Wednesday. Wheeler was on hand to help out with the Mets annual coat drive in Queens. He had some positive updates to share with the media, specifically in regards to his progress, his throwing regimen, and his feeling on a potential start out of the bullpen for the Amazin’s in 2017.
MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reports that while pitching out of the ‘pen is not Wheeler’s ideal scenario, he knows the Mets only want what’s best for him and his arm.
After as his current progress and throwing program, Wheeler has been active on the mound already. He threw three weeks ago, and plans to get back on the hill in a couple of weeks. His winter has felt “like a normal offseason.” Adding, “This is the best I’ve felt,” according to Trezza.
Wheeler’s importance as a starter isn’t as big as it was a couple of years ago. With the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz as locks for the rotation if healthy, and with the surprising Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo waiting in the wings, the need for Wheeler in the rotation has diminished. That’s why there’s no real hurry to force him into pitching every five days.
The bullpen could also benefit for Wheeler’s presence. When healthy, Zack’s stuff can extremely solid, and with the Mets looking for new arms to fill up relief roles, this move could end up being a win-win for everyone.