Can Zack Wheeler be the fifth electric starter for the New York Mets, is he a valuable trade asset or will he be a bust?
The New York Mets’ rotation seems to be all set when it comes to youth and first class talent.
Well, let’s not forget about Zack Wheeler.
Wheeler is a 26-year-old, right-handed pitcher who was with the major league club in both 2013 and 2014. The righty went 7 and 5 in 2013 and 11 and 11 in 2014 before needing Tommy John surgery.
On March 25, 2015, Wheeler had surgery to repair his right elbow and it was expected to take 14 months to fully recover from the procedure.
It was reported by Anthony DiComo that Wheeler will return to the Mets after the All-Star break.
#Mets are now targeting just after the All-Star break for Zack Wheeler’s return. Don’t want the break to disjoint his routine early on.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) June 3, 2016
What does this mean for the New York Metropolitans?
The righty, once thought the future ace of the Mets’ rotation, is now slotted as the fifth starter to take over for Bartolo Colon upon his return.
The real question however, is this: With an uncertain future following Tommy John surgery, is staging Wheeler as the fifth starter really benefiting the Mets?
A rotation of Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, and Wheeler would make an already deep rotation even deeper and more talented.
All five starters would be under the age of 28, which is amazing for a team who went to the World Series last year.
Wheeler burns plenty of rubber with his 95 plus MPH fastball and he would join an already blazing staff in New York.
A good portion of the Mets fan base is worried if Zack Wheeler will be the same Zack Wheeler upon returning to the Big Apple, and with good reason.
So what are the Mets to do if Wheeler becomes damaged goods?
First off, they could shop him around for some much needed youth on the offensive side of field to help their already stellar pitching.
Trading the righty was almost a done deal in 2015 when the Mets had agreed to trade him to the Brewers for Carlos Gomez.
That non-deal worked out better for the Mets anyway as Gomez is currently batting .214, with four home runs and 18 RBI in 78 games played for the Houston Astros.
If a Wheeler trade was an option last season, a future transaction could still be in the cards for 2016 as the Mets certainly has some positions in need of some help.
Corner infield help and possibly an upgrade in the outfield would make the Mets a deeper team defensively. General Manager Sandy Alderson could also shop Wheeler for a small-ball hitter, which would fit perfectly in a struggling Mets’ lineup.
Simply put, the Mets are currently living large in the pitching department and a tough decision is looming once Wheeler returns, especially if the offense doesn’t wake up.
Hopefully Wheeler will be able to return to his former self. Keep your fingers crossed Mets fans.