Zack Wheeler is desperate to be healthy this season for the Mets, and he’s taken extra steps to improve his chances.
A few Mets starting pitchers have already reported to camp this spring, and Zack Wheeler is one of them. The 27-year-old right-hander will be taking on his second Spring Training since coming back from Tommy John surgery, and he’s hopeful this one will finally set him up for success.
"“It needed two full months of rest. I got that, and then I’ve been taking these shots every day for the past six months. The medicine is called Forteo and it is supposed to strengthen your bones, so hopefully that helps,’’ Wheeler told The New York Post’s Kevin Kerman."
Um, what? If you’re slightly alarmed that Wheeler has been taking bone shots for the past half a year, you’re not alone. That’s not exactly the most encouraging sign for a guy this young, specially after being shut down last year for a bone issue. Thankfully, it doesn’t like these shots are necessary, but instead just an added thing he’s wanted to try to help his chances of staying healthy in 2018.
"“You do a shot in your stomach every day for six months. It’s not fun, but you got to do it. They give it to people with brittle bones, osteoporosis. My arm feels great. I’ve been on the mound six times now so if this helps me get to 30 starts, I’m all for it.’’"
So are we, Zack. Getting to that 30 start mark seems like a high goal for a guy that wasn’t able to pitch beyond July 22 last season, but we’ll remain hopeful it can happen.
Wheeler is also very frustrated about his health and his inability to stay on the mound throughout his short career.
"“I’m just kind of tired of getting labeled as unreliable, as ‘He’s always hurt,’ ’’ Wheeler said. “I missed two seasons but that was because of one injury [the Tommy John surgery]. I can’t help that. I worked my butt off in rehab, was doing great and then this bone issue.’’"
Having a chip on your shoulder can be good motivation for a player bouncing back from an off year. Unfortunately with injuries, that doesn’t always help. Your body will respond the way it does and you can only do so much to prepare and prevent more issues popping up. It looks like Wheeler is doing just that with these Forteo injections. Hopefully they make a difference.