It had been rumored as of late that Mets RHP Zack Wheeler would be starting the season in the bullpen, but Mickey Callaway quickly shot down those rumors.
When the Mets signed Jason Vargas last week, it looked as though Wheeler was out of a starting job. Wheeler was less than pleased with the signing, and was visibly annoyed when questioned by the media about the subject.
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This reaction clearly wasn’t warranted, as Wheeler has not proved anything to the Mets as of late. Coming to his senses the following day, Wheeler apologized for his reaction to the Vargas signing, and seemed a bit defeated. Acting as a bit of confirmation and motivation for Wheeler, as SNY reported this afternoon, Callaway sees Wheeler exclusively as a starter, but he will have to work for it.
Callaway mentioned that if the Mets are going to be the best team that they can be, Wheeler needs to be a starter. He still has a lot to prove, as he has not shown much of anything the last couple of seasons. Injuries really killed him and took seasons away from him while his teammates were taking full advantage of their opportunities, putting Wheeler lightyears behind.
But, with the confidence of his manager backing him, Wheeler now has all that he needs to really amp things up and prove that he is a valuable starter for this team.
As reported by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Wheeler will have a chance to prove himself before anyone else, as he will get the start for the Mets first spring training game this Friday.
The competition for who gets the last spot in the rotation is really going to start heating up as we get closer to opening day, but Wheeler can take a huge step in front if he makes a good first impression with the short time he will be given this Friday.