Ace in the making: Has the real Zack Wheeler finally arrived?
After years of doubt, the Mets may have found the Zack Wheeler they were looking for when they traded for him
They say the prime age of a baseball player is around 28 years old. The skills they have double in order to make them an elite athlete. It took until age 28 for Zack Wheeler to seemingly become the go-to guy for the Mets.
It wasn’t that long ago when Wheeler was competing with Jason Vargas for a roster spot. He ended up starting the year in Triple-A but managed to find his way back to Flushing. It wasn’t a warm welcome back, especially since he had a lot to prove. After all, he was coming off of a season where he was on the disabled list twice, once for biceps tendinitis and the other time as a result of a stress reaction in his right arm.
So, how would the 2018 season fair for Zack? To start, we could call it a disaster.
While he proved why he should have started over Vargas, Wheeler didn’t “wow” anyone. Back on July 31, Wheeler was 5-6 with a 4.11 ERA. When everyone thought he would be moved, there was a proposal to keep him on the team. After all, he went 3-0 in his last five starts with a 3.13 ERA during that time. While it is unknown what the Mets would have actually gotten for him, Wheeler has proved why the Mets made the smart choice. He went 5-1 in the month of August and is 1-0 so far in September. Wheeler now sports a record of 10-7 with a 3.39 ERA. Not too shabby for a guy who was dead in the water to start the season.
Zack Wheeler's final line:
7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K.
Wheeler's last three starts:
21 IP, 15 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 22 K.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 1, 2018
It appears that something finally cracked in Wheeler in order to pull off outings only Jacob deGrom has consistently had this season. His confidence has improved, and the roster has provided a bit of offense for him to get the wins he deserves. Maybe it was the thought of losing a job on a team that gave him a chance. Maybe, just maybe, Wheeler had it in him all along.
Wheeler’s fastball has gained some steam, while he has one of the best sliders in the second half of the season. If he keeps the momentum up, he has a chance to surpass his career-high of 11 wins. While that is only the first step, it is something Wheeler deems a very important one.
If the Mets want to compete in 2019, or at least become relevant, this is the Zack Wheeler that needs to show up. Is he the real deal right now, or just plain lucky?
Latest posts by Daniel Yanofsky (see all)
- Mets hire Luis Rojas to replace Carlos Beltran as manager - January 23, 2020
- An Outsider’s 2020 Hall of Fame Ballot - January 21, 2020
- A Wild Yo Sighting: Yoenis Cespedes participates in running, fielding and hitting drills - January 21, 2020
- Following Conor McGregor’s win at UFC 246, is “The King” truly back? - January 20, 2020