by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (5/17/2013) Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler was placed on the seven-day minor-league disabled list with soreness around his right clavicle.
The move was backdated to Wheeler's last start, which still makes him eligible to make his next start with Triple-A Las Vegas Wednesday. He was cleared of any structural damage during a visit with team doctors in New York and has resumed throwing, after receiving a cortisone injection Wednesday.
Wheeler is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA in eight starts at Triple-A.
Zack Wheeler to get back at it
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/17/2013) Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is back with his Triple-A team Friday and will resume throwing, after receiving a cortisone injection Wednesday to deal with inflammation in his right shoulder.
Wheeler is expected to miss just one start due to the issue.
Wheeler is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 47:18 K:BB ratio in 43 1/3 innings this season. He last pitched on May 11.
Zack Wheeler gets a bit of good news
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/15/2013) Mets starting pitcher prospect Zack Wheeler received some good news Wednesday as doctors did not find any structural damage after he reported soreness around his right clavicle, according to The Star-Ledger.
"All good," Wheeler's agent Al Goetz sent in a text message. "No structural damage."
Wheeler has been diagnosed with a bout of inflammation and received a cortisone injection, according to ESPN. He's expected to start throwing in a couple of days.
Zack Wheeler scratched from next start
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/14/2013) Mets starting pitcher prospect Zack Wheeler is headed to New York to have his right clavicle examined after he reported pain in the area Monday, according to assistant general manager John Ricco. Wheeler will miss his next start for Triple-A Las Vegas.
"I think we're being a little conservative," Ricco said, per ESPN.
Wheeler has rebounded after a slow start. He's 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA and .242 opponents' batting average through eight starts. He also has 47 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings.
Mets GM: Zack Wheeler not a Super-2 case
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (5/14/2013) Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday the promotion of top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is "not about Super-2 status," but there is no urgency to recall him from Triple-A Las Vegas despite the team's struggles in the starting rotation. Alderson said the problems in the rotation are related to three or four players as each member other than Matt Harvey has posted a losing record and an ERA above 4.60.
"What I said before with respect to Wheeler ... there will be a time when his performance converges with our need," he told WFAN in New York. "I'm not here to say we don't need him at this point, but we have to make (sure) that we're comfortable and that he will be comfortable and that we don't set him back in his development and ultimately his career in New York."
Alderson said he would prefer to bring along the 22-year-old Wheeler in a similar fashion to Harvey, who made his MLB debut last July after dominating the Triple-A level. The promising right-hander has displayed marked improvement recently in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, allowing just three runs over his past three starts (20 innings).
"What we want to do, in Wheeler's case, is what we did with Harvey," the third-year GM said. "That is to create the right moment for him to begin his major-league career and have success from the outset, and go forward. That doesn't mean bringing him up in July. ... We want to make sure that he has the best chance to succeed and he's not viewed as the savior of the Mets."
Zack Wheeler could be forcing call-up
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (5/12/2013) Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler turned in his third consecutive stellar outing Saturday for Triple-A Las Vegas, providing him more merit for a possible promotion to the big-league club. Wheeler held Albuquerque (Dodgers) to just two runs and six hits over a season-high 7 1/3 innings while striking out seven batters -- the third consecutive outing he has completed at least six innings after not hitting that plateau in his first five starts.
During that three-game span, which has come after dismissing a nagging blister issue, Wheeler has posted a 3-0 record with a glistening 0.62 ERA along with 19 strikeouts and just two walks. He has also permitted just one home run over the 20 innings.
Despite the team's need of steady starting pitching, the organization seems divided on when the right-hander will make his MLB debut. According to the New York Daily News, the Mets are not concerned about keeping Wheeler in the minors to avoid becoming a Super Two player, which would affect when he could become a free agent.
However, another source called that date "a little aggressive" for a promotion and said a call-up would be based solely on Wheeler's readiness.
Zack Wheeler knocking on door
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/10/2013) If Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman has his way, he might lose the services of his best starting pitcher in the next few weeks. That is because Backman manages the Mets' Triple-A affiliate, where big-time pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is trying to force his way to the majors.
"Personally, I think if he has a couple of more starts like his last start he'll be headed to the big leagues, and rightfully so," Backman said in a radio interview, via ESPN.com.
Wheeler struck out four batters and allowed just three hits in six shutout innings Monday against Sacramento. He has lowered his ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League to 4.00, after allowing just one run in his previous two starts. Wheeler has 40 strikeouts and 17 walks in 36 innings at Triple-A.
Wheeler is expected to be called up some time after the team can ensure he does not reach Super Two eligibility, but there is no set date for that. He entered the season ranked No. 11 in Baseball America's prospect rankings and No. 8 in MLB.com's.
Zack Wheeler finds form at Triple-A
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/6/2013) Mets starting pitcher prospect Zack Wheeler won his second straight start for Triple-A Las Vegas Sunday, pitching six scoreless innings against Sacramento. Wheeler allowed one walk and three hits, while striking out four.
"You just try to build off the last start, if it was a good one," Wheeler said, per MLB.com. "I think the last time, the start before last, I tried to build off that. And the last start was good, so you try to build off it, and it just went well for me. I was able to pound the zone, get the ball down, get ahead of guys."
After posting a 5.79 ERA in his first five starts, Wheeler has a 0.71 ERA in his last two starts, lowering his season ERA to 4.00. Wheeler has managed 40 strikeouts in 36 innings.
"It usually happens every year. There's a little bit of a slow start, you start making tweaks and adjustments and find it," he said. "I just want to carry it from here. It's baseball, you know. You gotta make those adjustments and just pitch."
Zack Wheeler getting on track?
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/1/2013) Mets starting pitcher prospect Zack Wheeler won his first game for Triple-A Las Vegas Tuesday, allowing one run on five hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings. Wheeler tied a season-high with eight strikeouts.
Wheeler, who had came into the game with a 5.79 ERA and 15 walks in 23 1/3 innings, said he was able to have success Tuesday after working with pitching coach Randy St. Claire on fixing a mechanical flaw, per MLB.com.
"I was lifting my leg and rotating my shoulders and when we looked at the video, we realized I was rotating too much instead of keeping my shoulders square to the plate," Wheeler said. "That was a big help. In the first inning, my first time doing it in a game, I found the right mechanics. And after that, I was good."
Zack Wheeler battling the elements
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/30/2013) Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler told the New York Daily News pitching in the Pacific Coast League has been a mental challenge. Pitching in the thin air and high-altitude atmopsheres is messing with Wheeler's psyche, which helps explain a 5.79 ERA through five starts for one of the best pitching prospects in baseball.
"I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal but it’s always in the back of your mind," Wheeler said. "You’re going to get hit from time to time, but sometimes you make a pitch and you say, 'Man, that was a good pitch but it was still off the wall.' It makes you second-guess yourself when it really shouldn’t. It’s human nature but you’ve gotta keep your head on straight and go out and battle."
Wheeler said the lack of moisture in the air affects his ability to grip the baseball.
"Every time after I throw a pitch, I’ve gotta lick my fingers," he said. "Sometimes, before I even throw the next pitch, I’ve gotta step off and lick them again because my fingers are already dry again. It takes some adjusting."
While Wheeler is dealing with some adversity, Triple-A Las Vegas manager Wally Backman and pitching coach Randy St. Clair are not the least bit worried. They continue to say Wheeler is as good as advertised.
"There’s no crisis here," Backman said. "The crisis would be if his 98 (on the radar gun) was only 91."
Zack Wheeler makes first start in six days
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (4/25/2013) Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is set to make his first start in six days Thursday for Triple-A Las Vegas.
Wheeler has struggled in the minors to start the year with a 4.91 ERA through 18 1/3 innings and 12 walks. He's been dealing with a blister, which could be the reason for his struggles. He'll look to get back on track against the Tacoma Rainiers Thursday.
Zack Wheeler hitting speed bumps
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (4/20/2013) During his first three starts for Triple-A Las Vegas, Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler has lacked the effectiveness that helped land him a spot on nearly every prospect list prior to the 2013 season.
That trend continued during his fourth outing Friday against Sacramento (Athletics) as he issued six walks -- matching his total from the previous three games combined -- and struck out just four over 4 1/3 innings.
Wheeler, who reportedly underwent an MRI for a blister on his middle finger last week, was also charged with three hits and four runs as his ERA swelled to 8.31 on the season. The right-hander has yet to complete more than 5 1/3 innings in any of his starts.
"That's a red flag and I don't want to see walks from those guys," Mets manager Terry Collins told ESPN.com on Saturday. "We know one thing with Zack's history, he doesn't walk a lot of guys, so when I saw the six base on balls today, there's got to be a reason for it. He's got good enough zone that if he pounds the zone, he'll get people out."
Is Zack Wheeler worth stashing?
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com (4/18/2013) With news that the Mets are considering bringing him up to upgrade their rotation, Zack Wheeler could be the prospect owners consider stashing. But on Thursday’s broadcast of Fantasy Baseball Today, Nando Di Fino said he’d stash Chris Archer over Wheeler.
“Wheeler’s awesome, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “It’s just I think Archer, who’s already seen some major-league action, will probably get a bump up before Wheeler does.”
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/18/2013) Mets manager Terry Collins said during his weekly radio spot on WFAN the Mets might have to consider promoting top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler if their rotation problems past Jonathon Niese and Matt Harvey continue, per the New York Daily News.
The Mets' starting rotation has a 4.18 ERA.
"If this continues, we’ve gotta start visiting that pretty soon," Collins said.
General manager Sandy Alderson hasn't ruled out promoting Wheeler, but he said the decision would not be made based on the struggles of Dillon Gee, Jeremy Hefner and Aaron Laffey.
"It was always a case that it would be Zack’s sufficiency and the major-league team’s need," Alderson said. "If those two things merge, the need and the performance converge, then it is a possibility. That could happen sooner or it could happen later."
Wheeler is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA through three starts for Triple-A Las Vegas. He has totaled 17 strikeouts in 14 innings, including eight in his last start Sunday.
"We are looking for excellency from him and consistency," Alderson said. "The last start was a good one. We want to see how he does in his next one and over the next several starts."
Would Mets trade Zack Wheeler?
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/11/2013) The Mets spent time at the winter meetings debating whether to make top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler available in trades, per the New York Daily News, which cited three team sources.
"If you could do that, you would have to," one Mets official said. "You trade the pitcher for the everyday player almost every time."
Zack Wheeler gets MRI on finger
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (4/10/2013) Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler underwent an MRI on his right middle finger, which has been bothered by a blister, according to the New York Post.
Wheeler, who also dealt with blister issues last season, is scheduled to make his next start for Triple-A Las Vegas. He was walked six batters while striking out nine in 8 2/3 innings over two starts this year.
Mets believe Zack Wheeler 'not far away'
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (4/6/2013) The brunt of the Mets' renaissance lies heavily on the organization's talented arms, particularly Zack Wheeler as he enters his first full season in Triple-A. With standout hurler Matt Harvey already excelling in the majors, Wheeler has assumed the billing as the top pitching prospect in the minors and considered to be on the fast track to Citi Field.
The right-hander lasted only 3 1/3 innings during his season debut Thursday because of a pitch count, but the outing still prompted Las Vegas manager Wally Backman to consider him "not far away."
"He is the same spot Harvey was at last year, I would say," Backman told the New York Post on Friday. "It’s a matter of command. I think it’s going to be a matter of consistency. He showed signs of just dominating, and then he’d get a little bit erratic."
Zack Wheeler struggles in first Triple-A start
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (4/5/2013) Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler struggled in his season debut at Triple-A.
Wheeler tossed 86 pitches in just 3 1/3 innings, giving up two runs. He struggled with his control, walking three and throwing a wild pitch. Wheeler is one of the team's top prospects, and is thought to be close to major-league ready.
He's had a limited experience at Triple-A, and the team wants him to work on a few things before he gets called up to the majors for good.
Zack Wheeler's timetable unaffected by Johan Santana injury
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (3/28/2013) Mets manager Sandy Alderson stated during a conference call regarding Johan Santana's likely season-ending injury that top prospect Zack Wheeler will remain on his established timetable. Rated baseball's 11th-best prospect by Baseball America this offseason, Wheeler has made just six starts at Triple-A and is likely to open the season there.
Mets have 'reason' for starting Zack Wheeler at Triple-A
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (3/27/2013) Despite the injuries piling up in the Mets' rotation, manager Terry Collins said "there's a reason" why the team isn't entertaining the notion of putting top prospect Zack Wheeler in the opening day rotation, according to the New York Daily News.
"He needs to go to Triple-A. He needs to face hitters in Triple-A," Collins said. "He needs to go work on his stuff, and he needs to be able to do what he did toward mid-season, and that is pound the strike zone. Thus far, in the games he’s thrown over there, they said he’s been a little wild."
Mets: Zack Wheeler not ready yet
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (3/26/2013) For those hoping the Mets having injuries to so many rotation candidates will mean a sooner debut for Zack Wheeler, New York has debunked that rumor, reports the New York Daily News.
The Mets are saying that Wheeler's ultimate promotion will have nothing to do with an injury above him. The team does not believe he's ready yet as a 23-year-old.
Zach Wheeler drawing a crowd
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/23/2013) Despite already being ticketed for Triple-A to start the season, Mets pitching prospect Zach Wheeler continues to make an impression this spring. Wheeler worked in a minor-league intrasquad game on Saturday and drew the gaze of several MLB scouts. The right-hander effectively mixed his breaking pitches with a fastball that consistently touched 96-98 mph on the radar gun. "So effortless," a scout described Wheeler's delivery to ESPN.com.
Zack Wheeler back in action at minors camp
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (3/18/2013) Mets prospect Zack Wheeler saw his first game action Monday since suffering a right oblique strain in late February. Wheeler, who was sent to minor-league camp last week, gave up just a hit in three innings. The right-hander posted on Twitter that he "felt great."
Wheeler was 12-8 with a 3.26 ERA in 25 starts between two stops in the minors last season.
Wheeler optioned to minors camp
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (3/10/2013) Mets starting pitcher prospect Zack Wheeler's bid to make the opening day rotation came to an end Sunday when he was optioned to minor-league camp. Wheeler was a long shot to win an opening day roster spot, but an oblique injury suffered in late February ruined his chances. "I don't think the injury helped," Wheeler said, per ESPN. Though, general manager Sandy Alderson said Sunday he feels Wheeler should be ready for the start of the minor-league season. "I only got out there one time," Wheeler said. "That's what I'm kind of mad about. I wanted to sort of get out there and prove myself. I hope I'll be up here soon."
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (3/7/2013) Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler threw off a mound for the first time Thursday since being scratched with an oblique strain eight days earlier. According to ESPN, he was not throwing full speed, but said he felt fine after the 30-pitch sessions. "That was the first time on the mound in -- what -- a week, a week and a half, whatever it is, he said. I was throwing 70, 75 percent. I let a few of them go just to see how it feels. It felt good." Wheeler will continue to receive treatment for the injury, and has no timetable for returning to action.
Wheeler making progress
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (3/6/2013) Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler was able to toss off flat ground for the first time Tuesday since suffering an oblique strain the previous Wednesday. According to ESPN.com, Wheeler is expected to throw off flat ground again Wednesday, before making the next step to throwing off a mound. A timeline has yet to be set for his return to game action.
Wheeler's prognosis promising
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (2/28/2013) The New York Post reports Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, who was scratched from his Wednesday start because of an oblique injury, isn't expected to resume throwing for another 7-8 days, according to a source. However, the oblique strain is not as bad as initially feared.
Wheeler scratched from start
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (2/27/2013) Mets prospect Zack Wheeler was scratched from his scheduled spring start Wednesday against the Cardinals because of a mild oblique strain on his right side he sustained while hitting in the batting cage. Darin Gorski replaced Wheeler as Wednesday's starter. The New York Daily News was the first to report the story. "It's mostly precautionary at this point," general manager Sandy Alderson said, per The Star-Ledger. "He tried to throw and didn't experience any problem, but he was sore to the touch so we're backing off." Wheeler is downplaying the injury. "It's early in the spring," Wheeler said. "We still got a month left. I don't want to risk anything, risk a bigger injury and be out longer."
Wheeler dazzling in debut
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (2/23/2013) Mets pitching phenom Zack Wheeler fired two scoreless innings during his Grapefruit League debut Saturday against the Nationals. Wheeler replaced starter Shaun Marcum to open the third inning and permitted only one hit during his impressive 30-pitch outing (19 strikes). The 22-year-old, hailed as New York's top pitching prospect, finished with two strikeouts and a walk. Aside from a wild pitch in his first inning of work, Wheeler was able to locate his pitches as the velocity on his fastball consistently sat at 94-96 mph. "Hes got that type of fastball where he doesnt put a lot of effort into it. Its just simple and easy," catcher John Buck told reporters. "It jumps on you, which makes it so if he makes a mistake, sometimes guys are going to miss it."
Wheeler destined for minors
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (2/16/2013) Barring an injury to one of the team's projected starters, Mets top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler likely will start the season at Triple-A Las Vegas, The Associated Press reports. New York manager Terry Collins said Wheeler needs more time at the highest minor-league level, where he made just six starts last season. "He needs to go to Triple-A and pitch," Collins said Saturday. "He wants to be on the staff? Go be the best pitcher in Triple-A. Force us to call him up." The Mets tailored a similar plan for Matt Harvey last season before promoting him in late July.
Mets won't pressure Wheeler
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (2/5/2013) The New York Post reports Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is prepared to make a run at a spot in the team's rotation this spring. Im ready to get going, Im definitely looking forward to it, Wheeler said. This is a big opportunity for me. Im just going in with open eyes, open ears. This is my first big league camp, so I am going to try to learn some stuff." Mets manager Terry Collins said he is putting no added pressure on the young right-hander. I learned my lesson with (Matt) Harvey last year, Collins said. We dont want to build it up too much. Just go out there and pitch. He and Matt are going to get to know each other in spring training. Matt will really be able to help him out. Im going to keep an open mind, but Im just going to let [Wheeler] go out there and pitch.
Agent: Wheeler big league ready
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (1/26/2013) The Mets still plan to start pitching prospect Zack Wheeler in the minors this season, but his agent believes he is ready for the big leagues, reports the New York Post. Wheeler threw at Georgia Tech on Thursday and agent Al Goetz wrote on Twitter: "If the Mets have [five] starters better than what I saw from [Wheeler] yesterday, they will win the East."