Is Zack Wheeler headed to the bullpen?

Is Zack Wheeler headed to the bullpen?

by Brian Erni February 21, 2018 0 Comments

Zack Wheeler: Starter or reliever? It's a storyline set to play out in the next six weeks, but for right now, it appears that in the competition to make the rotation, Wheeler has some ground to make up.

I don't doubt Ackert's reporting. As it stands right now, I believe Wheeler is on the outside of the rotation looking in. But I also think this isn't quite set in stone. 

Mickey Callaway has tried to make it clear that the Mets are a meritocracy. You will be given the chance to earn an opportunity, but nothing will be handed out just simply for showing up. That should be music to a player like Wheeler's ears, especially after injuries have left his last three seasons in tatters.

I'm not going to blame Zack for a raw human reaction, which is exactly what we heard when he was initially put off by the fact that the Mets signed Jason Vargas. He's a professional athlete who had supreme confidence in his ability. He's supposed to think he can succeed. If he didn't, he wouldn't be in the Bigs.

“I shouldn’t have been short about it,” Wheeler told The NY Post of his bristly comments about wanting to be a starter. “Anybody who comes and helps out our team is always a plus, especially with Jason. He has a lot of experience, playoff experience and more competition only makes us better, so I’m all for it. Especially anything that is going to help out the team in any particular way.”

I think Wheeler does realize that it makes perfect sense that he doesn't have an inside track on a starting spot right now. He hasn't earned one yet. But that doesn't mean he can't or won't.

This isn't to pick on Wheeler. Matt Harvey and Steven Matz are largely in the same spot. Their last two seasons haven't instilled confidence in anyone. So while it may look like Matz may have an inside track at the rotation via the simple act of being born left handed (or Harvey for simply being Harvey), that's not necessarily the case.

If I was a gambling man, I'd bet Wheeler does get a taste of the bullpen, but that doesn't mean its predetermined for him. If Wheeler out-pitches Harvey or Matz, he's going to be one of the five starters when the team breaks camp. It all starts this Friday, when Wheeler will get the nod in the Mets' Spring Training opener on Friday in Port St. Lucie against the Braves. So want to change their minds, Zack? Time to take a big first step.

Photo credits: Getty Images
Steve Mitchell | USA TODAY Sports

Newsday | Alejandra Villa




Brian Erni
Brian Erni

Author




Also in The 7 Line Blog

Jim Rome Slanders Sandy Alderson And The Mets
Jim Rome Slanders Sandy Alderson And The Mets

by Darren Meenan January 21, 2021 0 Comments

If you're going to bash the Mets, at least do it based on facts. Jim Rome could have filled his CBS Sports Minute praising the Mets. Instead he completely butchered the truth, and dragged Sandy Alderson through the mud for no good reason.

Read More

Did Pete Alonso Just Announce That The Black Mets Jerseys Are Coming Back?
Did Pete Alonso Just Announce That The Black Mets Jerseys Are Coming Back?

by Darren Meenan January 20, 2021 0 Comments

Late last night Pete Alonso sprinkled a little pixie dust in the eyes of those clamoring for the Mets to bring back the black jerseys in 2021. Distractions are needed right now, and if a piece of fabric can do that for people, have at it. 

Read More

Steve Cohen Swiftly Fires GM Jared Porter For Harassing Reporter
Steve Cohen Swiftly Fires GM Jared Porter For Harassing Reporter

by Tim Reilly January 19, 2021 0 Comments

After a report revealed GM Jared Porter sexually harassed a reporter five years ago via text message, the Mets have decided to terminate Porter's contract. 

Read More

.video-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; padding-top: 30px; height: 0; overflow: hidden; }