Zack Wheeler

#45 SP / N.Y. Mets / EXP: 2YRS Height: 6-4 Weight: 196 lb Age: 26 College: None Bats/Throws L/R

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    Zack Wheeler underwent Tommy John surgery in March of 2015, with an anticipated return to the majors around July of the 2016 campaign. In early June, that target was moved to after the All-Star break as the one-time, top prospect was slow to work breaking pitches into his recovery. In late June, Wheeler experienced soreness in his throwing elbow which turned out to be sensory nerve irritation, treatable with a cortisone injection. The right-hander continued his rehab, finally throwing in a game for High-A St. Lucie on August 6, tossing 17 pitches with excellent velocity. However, Wheeler felt more elbow soreness and was diagnosed with a mild flexor strain. This nixed Wheeler's return in 2016 and shut him down completely until pitchers and catchers report to spring training in February. His progress is worth monitoring in the spring, but for now, Wheeler is a reserve-round flier at best.

    Player News
    • Wheeler allowed four runs on four hits -- including two home runs -- and three walks Wednesday but remains in the discussion for a rotation spot, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Wheeler hit 97 mph and threw 65 pitches Wednesday, and he's scheduled to start Monday's Grapefruit League contest. The right-hander coughed up the pair of dingers in the eighth inning, possibly showing fatigue with the volume of work. Wheeler may have to dazzle in his Monday outing to overtake Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo in this battle. If he falters, a bullpen job or a trip to extended spring training may be in his future, though Wheeler has enough under his belt to earn consideration sometime this season even if his major league return is delayed.

    • Wheeler's position to start the regular season has yet to be determined after he touched the upper-90s in his Cactus League appearance Thursday, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. The right-hander was initially expected to begin the season at extended spring training, but Wheeler's showing on Thursday opened the eyes of the Mets brass. New York certainly isn't short on rotation candidates this spring, but Wheeler remains in the conversation. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo are the other top competitors for that final spot.

    • Wheeler (elbow) threw two innings in his first Grapefruit League start, walking a batter, striking out another, and serving up a home run. The oft-injured 26-year-old appeared to come out of Friday's appearance healthy, which is definitely the best sign for fantasy owners and the Mets brass alike. The homer he served up to Matt Tuiasosopo was less than desirable, but he did a decent job of keeping the ball down outside of that, as three of the six outs he forced were groundouts. Wheeler will still be brought along slowly and faces an innings cap this season, but could be ready to re-join the Mets' rotation a month or two into the campaign.

    • Wheeler (elbow) will get the start Friday in a split-squad game against the Braves, his first Grapefruit League action of the spring, The New York Daily News reports. Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen thinks Wheeler's hurdles are more mental than physical at this point, as he completes his long recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2015. "Once you get through it and it feels OK and you come out of it, then you can breathe a little bit and get going," Warthen said Thursday. "It's a matter of him getting out there and pitching and getting going. It's a matter of him knowing it's OK. We know it's OK, the doctors say it's OK, but until you go out and experience it, it's hard to know." The right-hander will be on a strict innings cap this season after his long layoff and may not be on the Opening Day 25-man roster, but a successful outing Friday will help the club determine how it wants to proceed with Wheeler.

    • Mets' Zack Wheeler: Not expected to break camp
      By RotoWire Staff

      Wheeler is expected to start the 2017 season in extended spring training Matt Ehalt of The Record reports. He's set to lose the No. 5 rotation spot to Robert Gsellman out of the gate. Wheeler's recovery from 2015 Tommy John surgery drags on, and prospective fantasy owners should understand he'll be on a strict innings cap this season. Of course, that shouldn't completely remove him from the fantasy scene, but any fantasy player in a deep mixed league who wants to stash him must remain patient.

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    2016 NYM 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    2015 NYM 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
    TOTAL 49 49 285.3 18 16 0 271 125 257 3.50 1.33