The Mets Should Call Up Zack Wheeler Right Now!
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Tuesday April.30, 2013
Stephon Johnson ( Baseball Writer and Mets Correspondent): Follow @stephonjohnson8
Forget what you heard about his last few starts in Triple-A Las Vegas. It’s time for the New York Mets to bring up pitcher Zack Wheeler.
Forget about the 5.79 Earned Run Average in Triple-A or the 15 Walks in 23.1 Innings playing in the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Wheeler needs his shot in Flushing and he needs it now…and so do Mets fans.
The Mets are projected to end 2013 with a .500 record and will most likely fight with the Philadelphia Phillies for third place in the National League East. But that doesn’t mean they’re contending for anything.
Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner are placeholders in the Mets rotation until something better comes along via the draft, Free Agency or trade. But that draftee, that Free Agent and that trade isn’t happening any time soon.
General Manager Sandy Alderson and company are here to rebuild and Wheeler is part of that process.
Hefner and Gee have combined for 46.2 Innings of work allowing a .276 Batting Average against, 50 Hits, 12 Home Runs and 5.50 Earned Run Average.
Gee once again demonstrated his struggles with getting through the third turn of the batting order during the April 27 loss to the Phillies.
Wheeler could not perform much worse than the aforementioned duo and moving him from the pitcher-unfriendly PCL to the Citi Field could restore any confidence that he might have lost in Triple-A.
Alderson didn’t seem worried last Friday. “His velocity is good and his mechanics are good,” said Alderson to the New York Daily News. “We’re looking for his development as opposed to his line scores.”
But rumors are circulating that the Mets are interesting in acquiring Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins to provide the lineup some pop and David Wright with the second element of a one-two punch.
But most front office members of teams from around the league believe that New York would have to give up Wheeler and young, Catching phenom Travis D’Arnaud in a potential deal. That would be a mistake.
While the possibility of having to give up both Wheeler and D’Arnaud in order to get the potential premier slugger of this generation might seem tempting, it’s imperative for the Mets to not abandon plans now.
If D’Arnaud turns out to be anything close to the hype, it’s worth the wait (and his trade would upgrade John Buck to more than just placeholder knowing his hot start would eventually even out statistically) and if the cliché of “good pitching beating good hitting” is true, than it would pay to have a staff filled with young, good arms.
You should try and mirror the Major League experience of both Wheeler and Harvey. If Wheeler is not called up, then he will always be significantly behind Harvey on the learning curve. Why not speed up the progression? If it fails for him, Wheeler can always be returned to the Minors to stop his clock.
Besides, a rotation including Harvey, Jon Niese and Wheeler doesn’t seem that bad does it?
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***
A big thank-you goes out to our ‘Mets Correspondent‘ Stephon Johnson for preparing today’s featured article. Stephon is a staff writer for the New York Amsterdam News where he’s covered news, politics, education, union issues, sports and art & entertainment since 2007.
He’s covered the New York Yankees, local College Basketball and the New York City Marathon. His work has earned him awards from the New York Association of Black Journalists and the Ippies (which awards New York’s independent, community and ethnic media).
His work has appeared in various publications and websites like Beyond Race Magazine and Baeble Music.com. A native of The Bronx, he now resides in Astoria, Queens. Feel free to follow Stephon on Twitter and talk the game of baseball Follow @stephonjohnson8
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Posted on April 30, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @stephonjohnson8 on twitter, binghamton, buffalo, carlos beltran, citi field, dillon gee, eastern league, giancarlo stanton, independent league, jeremy hefner, john buck, jon niese, las vegas, matt harvey, miami marlins, new york mets, NL east, pcl, san francisco giants, sandy alderson, stephon johnson, travis d'arnaud. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.