Wheeler Only Lasts Four Innings, Gives Up Five Runs

By Satish Ram

May 27, 2013 3 Comments

It was not the best of starts for Zack Wheeler on Memorial Day, as he struggled throughout most of the game to find his command and was not exactly helped by his defense much either.Wheeler-vegas

Wheeler lasted merely four innings in his second start back from the DL against Salt Lake – after he looked a little rusty in his last go-around. He allowed four hits, two of which were home runs, and three walks which led to five runs. Only three were earned, however, as Matt Long took Wheeler deep after a fielding error by Brandon Hicks extended the inning in the second. He served up the first home run, which was also a two-run home run, to Kobe Calhoun in the first inning with two outs.

Three walks in four innings is undesirable, but what further compounded the issue is the timing of said walks. He walked Brad Hawpe with two out in the first right before Calhoun took him deep – and walked back to back batters in the third to set up a runner in scoring position with only one out in the third. Salt Lake took advantage of this with an RBI single. Wheeler’s only easy inning during this start was the fourth – where he retired the batters in order. He departed after 80 pitches, but only 41 strikes.

The 51s would go on to win the game, 9-7, on the strength of two home runs from Francisco Pena.

This is purely speculation, but I wonder what happened between the time he was injured and his next start and if it hurt his mechanics somehow after he worked so hard to correct them. He has looked like a different guy between his last two starts – a stark difference from earlier in the year when I actually thought he could be ready for promotion. With the Super 2 date very close to passing, that no longer becomes a concern – instead, we need to make sure he fulfills the original criteria for promotion: stringing together 2-3 solid starts in a row with a low walk rate.

  • http://ifiredstevephillips.blogspot.com Hank

    Speculation or not, we all need to get out of the business of making excuses for Wheeler. His stuff is one of the best in all of minor league baseball and projects a possible great future. However, none of that matters as much as production. He’s got to find a way to make stuff match actual production or he’ll just grow up to be a wasted talent.

  • http://metsminors.net/author/teddyk/ Teddy Klein

    Sadly enough on the other site, as always, they have found ways to bash Wheeler.

  • djmurphy

    Bashing Wheeler is just stupid. I’m glad your not buying into it. With Wheeler it’s all mechanical & I think recently was the first time he realized that. That was a few weeks ago before he went on that nice run. I’m sure once he cleans up his mechanics he will be fine. He seems like he’s just going thru the motions & I think that’s the fault of our FO. They said if he pitched a couple of good games he’d be in line for a promotion. Everyone knew they weren’t going to promote until after super 2 status date. He pitched a few good games & nothing then he got hurt now there saying the same thing.

    Last season if you recall they were doing the same thing to Harvey. He was not pitching well and when he got promoted Backman said he didn’t think he was ready. Wheeler I think is feeling a little dejected and feels they have a date for him so it really don’t matter. This is terrible for a pitcher like Wheeler going thru the motions & not emphasizing your mechanics for a power arm like him often leads to injury. He’s so out of whack sometimes he’s putting added pressure on his shoulder and sometimes he’s putting added pressure on elbow. Neither of those is good & if he ends up with a season ending injury my blame would be on the front office.

    The Mets are certainly not the only team that does this but in my opinion it’s dangerous with pitchers. The Devil Rays and Kansas City are 2 of the biggest culprits & you generally associate with smaller market teams. A few years back it was very obvious that Desmond Jennings was ready but Tampa would not promote. He ended up starting the next season still in the minors playing his ass off then he started playing like crap but his date passed so he was promoted. The reason he started playing like crap was because he was to complacent and when he got promoted he was on fire again.

    Moving the AAA team to Vegas when your trying to build around pitching is stupid. Buffalo did not want us back I get it but they should have looked for a better alternative. Some players I wouldn’t mind seeing promoted from AA. Two players I wouldn’t mind seeing promoted from AAA sooner rather than later are Montero & Puello. These are guys who can be gaining experience & helping the parent club right now. I don’t want to hear Montero isn’t ready cause I’d rather see him every 5 day’s than Gee. The pitching in AAA is not as deep as in AA so Puello is just going to get to tee off on watered down pitching in a hitters park. I’d rather see him putting the gaps & his sped to use at Citi Field.