Zack Wheeler will be making his final minor league start tonight before getting promoted to the major leagues. He’s set to debut on Tuesday at Turner Field against the Atlanta Braves, about 45 minutes away from his childhood home.
He takes the mound tonight against the Tacoma Rainiers at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, and Adam Rubin reported earlier today he’ll be on an 85-pitch limit. Terry Collins doesn’t want their top pitching prospect to be overworked with his next turn in the rotation coming at the next level, but wants him to get enough work to feel sharp.
Wheeler is throwing on an extra day of rest tonight, which is what the coaching staff preferred to him having an extra day before next week’s start. Collins wants to ensure he can make as many things normal as he possibly can, especially since Wheeler’s debut will be anything but ordinary.
The Mets manager said there is definitely more excitement around this than Matt Harvey‘s debut last July:
There’s so much hype with this guy. It’s even more than when Matt was going to pitch last year. He’s going to pitch in Atlanta. It’s an away game for us. It may be a home game for him, since he’s from 50 miles away.
Like every other Mets fan, I’m excited to see Wheeler make his debut in the Orange and Blue at Atlanta next week. This has been a long time coming, and another glimpse of the future finally arriving in Flushing. There’s plenty of hype surrounding him, but with all the attention he’s gotten from the media since he was traded for Carlos Beltran almost two years ago, I think he’ll be able to handle it.