After missing the totality of the last two years, New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler is having elbow tenderness already in early workouts.
The righty did play catch today – a good step forward in getting back on track – but many in the Mets-verse are surprised to hear that Wheeler is already having issues in 2017.
Zack Wheeler says he felt fine playing catch today, but won't throw off a mound tomorrow. He's actually aiming for Saturday or Sunday.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) February 16, 2017
The former San Francisco Giants‘ first round pick has had a solid two years in the majors, compiling a 3.50 ERA paired with a 1.33 WHIP and 271 strikeouts over 285.1 innings pitched in Queens.
All of that work, however, has come between the 2013 and ’14 seasons, as Wheeler had Tommy John surgery following the latter year.
After taking all of 2015 to rehab his right elbow, Wheeler was expected to make a pre-All Star break return for the Mets in 2016, but that was swiftly pushed back due to complications.
Eventually, Wheeler started a rehab game at Single-A St. Lucie, where he allowed one unearned run over just 17 pitches in one inning of work. But that would be all of the in-game time he would see all season long.
This year may finally be the time for that vision to come to fruition, and throwing off a mound in the near future for Wheeler is the first step in that process.