MIAMI -- Zack Wheeler, the Mets' top pitching prospect, is likely very close to making his big-league debut and may in fact make only one more start for Triple-A Las Vegas before his promotion, according to people connected to the team.
Meanwhile, catcher Travis d'Arnaud, the team's best positional prospect, is seeing a doctor Monday and hoping to get a go-ahead to resume baseball activity, meaning he may be only two to three weeks away. He, too, is expected to reach New York this summer if all goes as planned.
Wheeler's had some ups and downs this year and at one point missed a start with inflammation in the A/C joint in his shoulder, but he now appears close to the cusp of the callup. It appears that one more solid start could do the trick.
While Wheeler has been very good but not quite overwhelming, the other consideration likely has been his "Super Two'' arbitration status. Although it can't be detemined exactly when the arbitration cutoff while be, it has been thought that about 10 days into June will make "Super Two'' status very unlikely.
Wheeler, acquired in a trade-deadline deal from the Giants for Carlos Beltran in the summer of 2011, has turned in five good outings in his last six, making the Mets feel better about bringing him up. Wheeler is now 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA for Las Vegas, where the ball flies. His WHIP is 1.30 due to a fairly high walk rate. In 58 1/3 innings, he's allowed 52 hits and 24 walks while striking out 59.
D'Arnaud, acquired in the winter in the trade for Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, suffered a fractured foot on April 18. He has been in a protective boot since the injury. The team hopes he is ready to start playing soon.