Michael Baron, Contributor
Zack Wheeler will start today’s game against the Braves at 12:10 pm ET.
He told reporters after his last start that he needs to be more efficient and throw fewer pitches per inning in order to be successful at the big league level. Wheeler gave up just two runs, but tossed 106 pitches in only 4 2/3 innings, while giving up seven hits and walking five.
“I’ve had to come out of the game early because I’m throwing 20 pitches an inning, falling behind guys, stuff like that. It’s not going to work,” Wheeler said. “That’s part of my game I’m going to have to fix pretty fast.”
Wheeler also said he must work to be more consistent with his mechanics.
Nevertheless, Terry Collins told reporters he expects Wheeler to pitch every five days through the rest of the season.
Wheeler also had a blister on his throwing hand that bothered him during his last start.
Wheeler has talked a lot about his mechanics since joining the organization two years ago, so it’s clearly something he’s been aware of. Talent evaluators will say about him, and all pitchers, that it’s important to be consistent from pitch-to-pitch, regardless of repertoire, count, inning, etc. When Wheeler is in a groove, his delivery looks free and easy with controlled movement of his pitches in the strike zone.
In his last start, he clearly struggled with his delivery and arm slot, which resulted in a lot of deep counts and falling behind most hitters. However, he was able to fight his way through tough situations and limit the damage. Despite his struggles, he seems to have an idea of how to avert major damage and get out of jams. He has held opponents to a .125 average with runners in scoring position, while allowing just one hit in 12 chances with two outs and runners in scoring position.