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Zack Wheeler says he must hurry up, turn his season around

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler let up five runs in six innings Sunday and later acknowledged he needs to quickly turn his season around.

“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.”

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

“Obviously, guys are starting to figure me out a little bit,” he added. “I was thinking after I came out I might be a little bit predictable right now.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

He’s predictable. However, worse, it seems he doesn’t make any in-game adjustments. If it plagues him in the second inning, it plagues him in the third, fourth, and so on. He’s already switched up his delivery, bringing his hands up over his head to mimic his motion from when he was younger. Whatever the problem, though, he and Dan Warthen haven’t found a solution.

There will be an argument made to send Wheeler down to Triple-A when Dillon Gee is ready to return from the disabled list next week, assuming Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom are pitching well. My instinct is to let him work it out with Warthen in the big leagues. However, I’m reserving judgement on this until a decision is mandatory, because so much can happen between now and then.




50 comments
Ramon Bonilla
Ramon Bonilla

SORRY TO SAID BUT WARTHEN HAD TO GO,BEING HERE TOO LONG AND THE PITCHING STAFF DON'T SHOWS ANY BIG IMPROVEMENT,THEY CAN'T GO PAST THE 6 INNING AND HAVE NO GUTS WHEN FACING A TUFF SITUATION,THIS PROBLEM MUST BE COMING FROM THE PITCHING COACH NOT TEACHING HOW TO FACE PRESSURE, I NOTICE WHEN THEY GIVE UP A HIT OR A WALK THEY LOOSE THEY COMPOSION AND NO COMES IN TO TALK TO THEM.

mets69
mets69

The only way Wheeler can turn it around is to run... run... run... away from that old fart Warthen....  he needs to go into the video room.... with D'Araud AND Recker and look at the game in Atlanta last year and all of his "good" games... go back to that delivery.... to that game plan.... it may be hard to undo the damage Warthen has perpetrated but it is worth a shot.... he is useless to them right now... not even good trade bait... he is obviously doing something wrong.... HE needs to go back to the beginning and see if he can get that delivery and mentality back.... again.... don't let Warthen have a say in this... work it out with the video tape and his catchers.... get back to basics and see what happens... until then... it will be more of the same... pitching batting practice to the other team.... YUCK!!!!!!!!

Charles Gustafson
Charles Gustafson

Maybe the problem is Warthen.  If these guys are pitching so well at Las Vegas maybe that pitching coach should be on the bench in New York.

John Schod
John Schod

Warthen needs to go!

How many prospects have come to this team with minimal improvements?

If the young pitching is going to be our strength over the next several years, let's have a pitching coach with a stellar playing and coaching resume!

Nicholas Canzano
Nicholas Canzano

ArchAngel:

Been a Met fan my whole life....believe me, under present management, this will never change.

Sandy is only here on loan from MLB, to clear up team finances. Thus far, only a token effort has been made to improve this team. Met fans only hope is he accepts the job and becomes the next

Commissioner of MLB.

rmkabadi
rmkabadi

Wheeler has been touted to have talent by many scouts. The larger question was whether or not he was rushed - I don't think he was necessarily ready (based on Vegas numbers pre-call up) but he did do well last year. Now he's fallen back to the same issues that plagued him in the minors - largely poor command. Even his called strikes seem to miss the target.

I'm not sure Vegas with its hitter friendly atmosphere will help any and I think it's best to let him work it out here. Hopefully he figures it out or otherwise he's the new Oliver Perez (but righty).

Haig Mathosian
Haig Mathosian

The mets do what they always do: Talk up the young pitchers, when in reality, they're not that good. Maybe wheeler is just an average, run-of-the-mill pitcher after all.

72tilltc
72tilltc

Harvey Wheeler Mejia etc. all come up looking good. Kirk Spin Campbell Satin Lagares Flores all come up hot Terry ruins them.

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

Catcher or bench is supposed to calling the game. Wheeler's not seasoned enough for that judgement.

nymess
nymess

After reading up a bit on the "Inverted W" flaw in pitching mechanics (which Wheeler exhibits), and how it has been shown to lead to elbow and shoulder problems, can't help but suspect there's something more going on here...hope that's not the case though. 

Chris Kujawa
Chris Kujawa

Well Syndergaard will need a rotation slot.

monstah
monstah

Of course Warthen isn't helping him - he's as clueless as Collins. The two of them should go back to playing checkers in Sam Drucker's General Store at Petticoat Junction.... 

Ricky Gurbal
Ricky Gurbal

Personally I think wheeler is losing his hunger, he got to the big leagues and seemed to be content with that, he never really showed the bulldog mentality and maybe its unfair to compare him to matt harvey but you know harvey wants to be the best. but i dont know i dont get the same feeling from wheeler, maybe a demotion to triple A would be just what he needs to get motivated again, not making in game adjustment has to do with focus and he doesnt seem focused how can you get burned in the second inning and do the same exact thing in the fourth and expect different results? Its not to say that he isnt focused in the game but maybe hes just focusing on the wrong things, like thinking too much about his mechanics and not enough about making his pitch. I hope the new york media isnt getting to his head because than we just have another pelfrey, promising arm with a head case 

Jeff Babcock
Jeff Babcock

Trade him while he has value. We need bats.

Steven G
Steven G

IF Wheeler does need to be sent down to work on things, the Mets need to act quickly and decisively, which is not something they are good at (eg, Ike Davis, Tejada). If they play the "Zack is going to Vegas, Zack is not going to Vegas" game, they will destroy Wheeler's confidence, like they have with players in the past, and his entire year (or more) will be ruined. Send him if you must, or keep him here and let him work it out. He seems like a smart guy and I do believe he's got the stuff. One way or another he'll be a fine pitcher for us.

hashburry
hashburry

The only thing predictable is he has terrible control.

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

Wheeler isn't ready.  Enough already! He needs to work on this in Vegas.

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

This raises another question for me...Is this team TOO young?  Meaning, who's the pitching leader on the staff?  I know Colon is the oldest, but does anyone believe he's a tutor?  Gee is probably the best "pitcher" but..he's rather young too.  In game when a pitcher is in trouble, besides giving him a breather or verifying signs, are d'Arnaud and Recker providing these guys feedback?  

I'm just wondering where the experience is on this team these days...

spelletrader
spelletrader

He's slowing his motion on off speed pitches, looking almost robotic at times. It's not something a major league hitter ignores.

It might be better to send him down and let him work on his off speed delivery until it becomes fluid, or at least more natural. Hopefully if he improves that, his fastball location will improve, as he won't be over compensating.

mrmet4mvp
mrmet4mvp

It all depends on what progress he shows.  It's one thing to let a guy "work things out" in the majors as long as he seems to be making progress and getting better.  But if a guy is stuck in a rut and just doing the same thing start after start after start, it's not helping him at all to be part of the big club.


I'm usually in favor of letting guys work on things at the highest level.  But, as Matt mentions, Wheeler continually fails to make adjustments and just seems overmatched.  It might do him a lot of good to go down to AAA for a while, readjust to his new delivery, and work on the mental aspects of out-thinking hitters and making adjustments as the game goes on, without the pressure that comes with playing in the majors.


As long as Montero and deGrom are still looking solid when Gee comes back, I think a month or two in Las Vegas could be the best thing for Wheeler's long-term development and for the Mets this season.

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

I'm not sure if the minors are the place for Zack to figure things out, but I know for sure he's got to work a little harder in between starts.  I said on a thread yesterday, I think he thought this was going to be easier because he had so much success in the minors. At this point, talk is cheap Zack.  It's going to take hard work to stay at this level and if you're not willing to put it in, there are about 3-4 kids behind you who are.

TheJMan
TheJMan

he's averaging less than a K per inning pitched -- with his stuff, that's terrible

he's never pitched more than 7 innings and has gone over 6 innings once this year


time to put him on notice like they did with Tejada.. Tejada is TEARING it up!!!!! 


this kid doesn't seem all that bright -- goes along perfectly with this team's dumb manager

metstones
metstones

Matt who are you kidding? You are reserving judgement on this until you get a sense of what the Mets management want to do and then you will be the mouthpiece that you are and back them like you do on 9 out of every 10 things these idiots come up with.

CocoaBeachnut
CocoaBeachnut

Something I have always wondered about is the pitcher's delivery timing. The batter steps into the box and readies for the pitch. But it is the pitcher that is in control of the timing of the delivery. Like varying the speed of a pitched ball, I wonder why more pitchers don't vary the amount of time that the batter is waiting in ready. Quick pitch before the batter is ready. Then stall the delivery and have the batter, in ready position, wait an extra few seconds for the delivery. Get in the batters head and screw with their timing, with their rhythm in the batter's box. For a batter ready and anxious for the pitch, seconds can seem like minutes.

Any comments on the pros & cons of this?

nolrog
nolrog

Zack Wheeler will never win a Cy Young.

MetsFan1962
MetsFan1962

“Obviously, guys are starting to figure me out a little bit.” . . Zach, I say the opposition got you figured out. 17 runs in 20 innings says so. Got to make some big time adjustments to stay in the rotation. Good Luck.

capra38
capra38

Statistically.....to date in his MLB career Zack Wheeler is John Maine.  Sandy should know he's not going to batt 1.000 on all these young pitchers.  Sandy has never been accused of being aggressive, but he may want to flip one of these young pitchers sooner rather than later for a solid position player.  If Syndergaard also dissapoints it will be ugly.......UGLIER I mean.

Agustin Torres
Agustin Torres

Off day today perfect to let Collin and his coaching staff go

mets69
mets69

@Ramon Bonilla  Agreed 110+%..... why can't anyone in this stupid organization see the problem.... it is not the kids and their talent ... it is the inability of the coaching staff to develop their talents.... really disgraceful and they will NEVER be a winning team until the pitching coaches AND hitting coaches... for that matter... are ceremoniously dumped....

mets69
mets69

@moep  Maybe the pitching coach at AAA can help.... better yet... bring him up and send Warthen down... oh no.... I take that back.... then will never have another good prospect down there.... just get rid of him and get some one who has success and a clue....

owlnut
owlnut

@monstah  That's why he needs to go back to AAA to correct what's wrong. Warthen is no help! I would trade him for a shortstop. Now!

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

@CocoaBeachnut  Latroy Hawkins for one, does this a lot.  Varies the timing of his delivery to the plate.  Especially with runners on.  Then again, at 41 he kind of has to 'sneak attack' a little.  The pro is just as you alluded to, it messes with a hitters timing mechanism which can be huge when the speed differential between your hard stuff and breaking stuff shrinks.  The cons:  Could lead to an inconsistent release point on certain pitches; could lead to an injury; could lead to a tell if you only use it on certain pitches..

nolrog
nolrog

I believe Wheeler is at the point where he can no longer find success on talent alone.  There are tons of talented guys in the majors, and many of them more talented than he is.  He now needs to learn how to pitch instead of just throwing.

nolrog
nolrog

I think we were spoiled by Matt "Never Win a Cy Young" Harvey having such great success immediately.  Wheeler needs to show incremental improvement every year and he'll be fine.

The chance of all these young pitchers (Harvey, Wheeler, Thor, Montero, deGrom, Mejia, Familia) working out, even with their success at AAA, was always very low. If they get 2 top end starters (Harvey and one other), then it was a success.

Brian McCarthy
Brian McCarthy

Do you all think they will get fired during this season?The way they are running things lately.I really don't see that happening.

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

@Brian McCarthy  I think TC and his staff are running this thing exactly as Sandy and his crew want him to.  So no, I don't think so.  Besides, it's tough to scapegoat TC and his crew with so much left to the season.   

nolrog
nolrog

No, they will stay as long as they like.  The manager/coaching staff incompetence is deflecting attention from the front office and ownership incompetence.

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

@JimmyFromDBX What they could do, is have him develop two different ways of throwing each pitch if necessary, if the batters are too comfortable.

monstah
monstah

@CocoaBeachnut  Warthen, Hudgens, Collins - I will personally drive them to the retirement home! PLEASE!


CocoaBeachnut
CocoaBeachnut

@Dr. Jonathan Reefer @CocoaBeachnut  Like you, I'm not a big Warthen fan. Who has he developed? Has there been anyone who has come to the Mets that he has made better? Is there any young talent brought up that he has put the finishing touches on? I look at guys like Roger McDowell or Dave Duncan or Leo Mazzone who have taken talent up a notch. Warthen needs to go. Enough of him.