New York Mets News

Mets name pitching starters for first three Spring Training games

By JT. Teran
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 01: Zack Wheeler
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 01: Zack Wheeler /

With the first three Spring Training games happening this weekend, the Mets will be starting to look at some of their struggling arms from last season.

The Mets announced Zack Wheeler will be making the start on Friday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves in Port St. Lucie.

Wheeler, who has been rumored to be heading to the bullpen, will try to show the team he’s capable of being a starter this spring. This first outing will obviously just be the beginning of that journey, but it’s interesting that manager Mickey Callaway decided to give the righty the nod to start.

Following him will be Seth Lugo on Saturday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals at First Data Field.

Lugo struggled with injuries throughout 2017 after starting his spring out with the Puerto Rican team in the World Baseball Classic. He’s hoping to be able to rebound from his lack of effectiveness and recapture the little bit of magic we saw towards the end of the 2016 season.

Robert Gsellman will start the weekend’s final game for the Amazin’s. He’ll be matched up against the fire-selling Miami Marlins away from home.

Gsellman is another guy that regressed last season, and hopes to get back on the wagon early on. Odds are he won’t be in the starting rotation to start the season, but with the other starters having so many question marks surrounding them, he could make an argument for a spot.

Like Lugo, Gsellman showed a ton of potential in 2016, but those hopes seemed to evaporate last year when he just couldn’t be effective at all ending with a 5.19 ERA in the 25 games he appeared.

Next: Michael Conforto starts swinging the bat

While these games may not count, it’s still super exciting that we’ll actually be able to watch baseball this weekend. We’re getting closer to the Mets’ March 29 Opening Day mark, and we should start seeing who has what it takes to make this squad.