I know it’s silly, but I am worrying about Zack Wheeler

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler has allowed 17 runs in 20 innings during his last four starts.

“It’s been a bunch of bad starts in a row here,” Wheeler said Sunday evening. “I need to hurry up and turn it around and get back on the right track.”

SNY analyst Jim Duquette later suggested on air that Wheeler may benefit from pitching in Triple-A after Dillon Gee returns from the disabled list, which was parroted by some fans on social media.

“The panic surrounding Wheeler right now is astounding,” the Wall Street Journal’s Jared Diamond wrote to concerned Mets fans (Twitter, May 19). “Seriously, relax. The dude has given up 142 hits in 149.2 IP. He’ll be fine.”


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In the small, micro-level, only-about-the-player point of view, I know Diamond is right. However, when I think about Wheeler’s struggles in the larger context, the one coming from the team about how the future is all about their “pitching prospects,” I totally freak out. Matt Harvey set a ridiculous precedent by being so awesome so fast. That is not typical.

Typical is Wheeler, struggling a bit and learning, before responding and finding a rhythm. I know this is true. However, rational thought turns to panic because of quotes like this one from Harvey (NY Post, May 20):

“It’s exciting to see what the future holds, and obviously I’m appreciative of that and enjoying all these guys and being able to watch and being able to see what they can do and what they can contribute to winning. That’s what it all comes down to, winning games. Going to the postseason, that is what we’re about here, and it’s going to be a great group.”

I love this as a concept. It sounds great. I buy it hook, line and sinker. Of course, I feel like I’ve bought it before. And, I don’t want to be mislead, I don’t want to see yet another crop of prospects fizzle, despite towering hype, only to mean rebuilding again. It’s the worst-case scenario. Is it irrational? Yes. Is it short-sighted? Of course. Is it a real fear, which I don’t expect reporter to understand? Absolutely.




110 comments
Nick Ang
Nick Ang

guy is scared of contact, not cut out for ny

Daniel Corona
Daniel Corona

Wheeler should've been the one moving to the own for a closer role. Mejia was rushed out the rotation.

Jesse Toyens Martinez
Jesse Toyens Martinez

Why silly?? We should be worried!!! He's yet to prove anything at this level.. Has not dominated at this level as we all hoped he would, he's too inconsistent... His he any over hype prospect? Maybe! Until otherwise there's still a big? Mark on if this kid GOT IT! To be a top of the line front tier pitching ACE or just a bottom of the rotation kinda SP! The jury is out but I'm not liking what I'm seeing at this point... Eli Rivera Thomas Seminoles Shea

Jerry Colfer
Jerry Colfer

He is a young guy with great stuff and he just needs time not pressure (self inflicted or by the fans). He will come out of this better for the adversity.

Gregory Schreiber
Gregory Schreiber

Send him to Las Vegas 51s Baseball Team so that Wally Backman can fix him.

Marc Singleton
Marc Singleton

Silly?  Not at all.  This is the Mets we're talking about.   The majority of Mets fans can be but into 2 categories. 


1.)  The Realists.  We see things how they are and base our opinions and attitude towards the team based on reality and what we've learned from following the Mets. 


2.)  The Delusional Optimists.  These are the people who complain on here that "everyone is being too negative" and that we're "not real fans."  They drink the Kool Aid, and they can't understand why the rest of don't just drink it too.  


Are the delusional optimist happier for it?  Perhaps.  But then again they probably live their entire lives with their heads in the sand.  


The point is, the Mets are a combination of poor management and bad luck.  Worrying about things not working out is a logical state of mind for anyone who follows the team.  

Bob Giacalone
Bob Giacalone

Cerrone, take a Xanax. There are more important things to worry about on this team.At least if Wheeler fails, there are some really good pitchers to take his place.  If d'Arnaud fails, there's no back-up plan. Granderson, EY, and CY--no back-up plan. Tejada--no back-up plan. Duda--no back-up plan. No pill to make you feel better there.

noeynox2
noeynox2

@metsblog not silly. His non strikes don't entice anyone to swing at them. Throws hard, but way inconsistent n has to work 2 hard 4outs.

bigdirty
bigdirty

I am starting to feel more and more that Mets fans are idiots. Wheeler hasnt even been up a year and fans want to give up on him. he had a solid season last year when he came up. 


Yes he has struggled in the first 6 weeks but you have to expect that. Its apart of development. The kid doesnt need to prove anytihng in the minors and the mets arent going anywhere this year- Why sedn him down? let him learn and adjust up here and get it together. 


This is the year that the team has to allow wheeler, travis and lagarass develop. A part of that development is that they will struggle. The Harvey's and trouts are rare. Most players have to show talent like Wheeler has and then figure it out and adjust. Give him time. We are talking about what could be a promising pithcer. Instead of a super stud, Wheeler could become a #3 starter/middle of the rotation guy. Thats not bad either.



Marc Seldin
Marc Seldin

Doesn't surprise me..I was leery about him one the Mets made the trade..if he was so good, then why would SF trade him? Sabean is no moron..

drfrank
drfrank

This is my first post. Long time Mets fan.  I think the Mets staff changed his mechanics and that messed up his fastball. What I have seen this year is that he has no movement in his fastball. He lost that "late rising movement" on his fastball. That is the pitch that made Dwight Gooden and Mariano Rivera great and that is the pitch that made Harvey special last yaer. in order to try get his control better, they changed his mechanics and now he lost that late movement. He has to try to pitch more "up in the strike zone to get that movement back" but the coaching staff always preached to keep the ball down but the ball down in the strike zone has no late movement and is an easier pitch to hit. Now his fastball is straight like parnell with no late movement.  The Mets staff should get the tape of his first game against the braves when he came up and they will see that "late rising movement on his fastball" and how he struck out jayson heyward and that is what has been missing from Wheeler. He has to pitch up and down first on the strike zone and when he has 2 strikes on the hitter then he shoud try to go up the ladder and get that movement back and his strike outs will come back and he will be harder to hit.  Please go get the tape and watch it.  Thanks. 

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

Syndergaard is showing better control than Wheeler had in the PCL...but hes also given up more hits than innings pitched.

Darrell Smith
Darrell Smith

Not silly at all. He's all messed up. He needs to be sent to Vegas to work on his secondary pitches and his overall approach. It should take 4 or 5 starts and then back up with the Mets.

rico
rico

Mets fans FREAKOUT way too much over WAY TOO MUCH. 

If the public perception is that he is a bust, it will go to his head, to the heads of other GMs, 

it's not good.


Let the season play out we are still just 2 months in kids.  C'mon, lay off already!

Gary Levitan
Gary Levitan

Why is it silly to worry.  Zack hasn't shown even a modicum of improvement in his entire professional career.  He is EXACTLY the same pitcher that he was when we traded for him.  All stuff NO command.  H had a good run last year based on stuff alone and he will always have those spurts.  But right now I don't see anything more than an inconsistent bottom of rotation starter on a good team.  There are plenty of 4 or 5th starters in mlb that throw 97 with some nice breaking stuff.


Whats most disturbing is that forget quality strikes...he cant really throw strikes at all when he needs them.  


Zack Wheeler is not our future.  Let's get comfy with that thought and move on

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

I think the Mets should break the bank and hire Leo Mazzone.  Make him an offer he can't refuse.  

Father Dooley
Father Dooley

We still have not benefited from the Beltran or Dickey trades, and that's starting to worry me.

Joseph J. Benevento
Joseph J. Benevento

I think the problem is this love-affair most everyone seems to have with "stuff" over actual results.  Time and again Wheeler can't get his "stuff" over the plate and hitters sit on 3-1 fastballs or draw walks when he tries something else.  Furthermore, the hype over Harvey, while more understandable, is also misguided, since he was, after all, only 9 and 5 last year, not 14 and 2.  Sure he didn't have a better record because of the team he was on, but I saw him get no decisions and losses more than twice by throwing too many pitches early because of a desire to strike everyone out.  Dillon Gee is our best pitcher by far the past year and Niese probably second best and they don't get any of the hype being afforded to Wheeler, Harvey and the rest of the hard throwing prospects.  The idea is to not give up runs and to last at least 7 innings a game.  Wheeler isn't coming close to doing that in his starts this year.  He really isn't that much better than Hefner, when Hefner was pitching at his best, but most people would consider that comparison ridiculous.  I'll take a pitcher who can get people out economically and consistently over pitchers who fall in love with their own hype and stuff and are proclaimed great before they have even won 20 games in the majors- I'm not talking about in a season, I mean all-together. 

Vicki Addotta
Vicki Addotta

Why is it silly to be worried? He's been awful.

Zach Goeringer
Zach Goeringer

Unfortunately our AAA stadium has a coors field environment. Not the best place for struggling young pitchers. I know it sounds crazy but if they are going to send him down (which would be a mistake) I'd rather him be sent to Binghamton where he can dominate and get his confidence up.

slainte2
slainte2

i wonder what Harvey's username on Metsblog is ... guys lives and breathes Mets baseball, and bored out of his mind ... he has gotta be on here.

dannym28
dannym28

he has had flashes of brilliance don't let warthen screw that up. 

Chapter 7
Chapter 7

Wheeler has to man up and challenge hitters.

The mindset Harvey has, the same mindset that ruffles the front office feathers, is what made him so great last year.

He wants to be the star player on and off the field.

cj1786
cj1786

"I know its silly".... next time just stop yourself right there. 

shea
shea

Is a 4A or  3A team really going to make that much of a difference?

Let him stay with the 4A team!!!


The way Cerrone talks about Harvey you would almost think he was still...ya know....playing the sport, if he comes back the way Strasburgh did, good but not great, Cerrone might fall into depression 

Jerry Colfer
Jerry Colfer

You are right about that nasty late break. He will figure it out.

lindro88
lindro88

@rico Pitchers all over the league with high expectations struggle.  Look at guys like Salazar, Gausman, etc.  We got spoiled by Matt Harvey.  Not saying this guy will ever be Harvey, but its a little early to start worrying. 

Superbestfriends
Superbestfriends

You are the biggest tool, just shut off your computer....forever

TheJMan
TheJMan

@Steven Matregrano  


can't spell mediocrity without Matregrano 


excuse us for striving for more 


you're like the Neville Chamberlain of MetsBlog

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

@Father Dooley  Father, baseball is a nuanced game.  There is so much that a player needs to learn before they're ready to dominate.  Very few make a quantum leap from amateur ball to the majors, most take years of "seasoning" before they're ready to contribute.  In football, basketball or hockey a player can step in immediately after a draft and have an impact; that almost never happens in baseball.  


Syndergaard and Wheeler have tremendous potential.  To this point in their careers they've gotten along by just being better than those they grew up with.  Now it's time to learn.  They can't just overpower hitters any more.  They have to learn to hit corners and command their off speed pitches.  That takes time.  It's way too early to lose faith.

tullers
tullers

@Zach Goeringer  What the hell are you talking about?  Citi Field is a pitcher's ball park.  The problem is that he throws too many damn pitches, falls behind in counts and is not capable of pitching to contact.  Until he accepts that economical pitching is his friend, he's going to avg less than 6 innings per game which is not good for any team's bullpen.

Zach Goeringer
Zach Goeringer

@slainte2 He has multiple user names, you can tell its him when the person is advocating for him to pitch in August.

Nick Squatrito
Nick Squatrito

War then actually isn't that bad of a pitching coach. Gee and Harvey haven't had any trouble with him. Maybe its just out pitchers aren't as talented as wed like to believe?

Father Dooley
Father Dooley

@grillruben @Father Dooley  I want someone that is good; someone that gives us a better chance to win games.

tullers
tullers

@Nick Squatrito  Warthen sucks.  The only reason he hasn't totally screwed up Harvey is because Harvey's gonna do what Harvey wants to do.  And Gee's just been fortunate not to get screwed up by Warthen/TC.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

@Nick Squatrito I remember when Harvey first came up there were baseball magazines saying ''if you think Harvey is good wait till you see Wheeler''.

shea
shea

@nwmets @shea  the Mets

Balonius
Balonius

@nwmets  When people say "have you been living under a stone?" They don't mean an actual stone. What is meant by the metaphorical stone is, you are not up to date with what ever the subject that is being discussed. Let me know if I've lost you yet -- trying to make this as simple as possible for you!


When the Mets are referred to as a "AAAA" team, the meaning is that they are better than a AAA baseball club, but not quite as good as a Major League Baseball club. This is metaphorically speaking. Not a literal reference to a AAAA baseball league. 


See how metaphors work? Maybe now you won't come off so ignorant next time someone opines about baseball.


Also, copy/paste are computer terminology to save ones time from retyping: instead you can just "copy or cut and paste". Get it, you tool?

TheJMan
TheJMan

@shea @nwmets  

16 Mets on the current roster have spent time in the minor leagues over the past year for one reason or another.

nwmets
nwmets

@shea But there isn't anything between the majors and AAA, so this is meaningless. What you just said is "Ever since Madoff this is a major league team".


So you're saying this team is better than AAA? Not sure I'd agree with that.


I know people on this blog love the "AAAA" moniker, but it doesn't mean anything, it's just copy/paste.

shea
shea

@nwmets @shea  No im pointing out that the current roster (and past roster) lies somewhere between the Majors and triple A.  


Look at the roster this year and over the past few...how many guys who were given "minor league deals" ended up making the big league roster....how many were cut by other teams (some multiple times) before finding a home on this 4A team.


Ever since Madoff this is a 4A team.... 

nwmets
nwmets

@shea I don't understand -- AAA is one step below the majors. So if you say "AAAA", that's effectively the majors. So it's good that we're 4A! You just complimented the team!


I personally feel that this is more of a AAA team, but you're entitled to your opinion.