Zack Wheeler New York Mets
Jun 7, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Surprise! The New York Mets have lost yet another starting pitcher to injury.

This time it’s Zack Wheeler, who joins fellow starters Robert Gsellman, Matt Harvey, Tommy Milone and Noah Syndergaard on the sidelines.

Wheeler, 27, has had an up-and-down season. Over 17 starts, he’s gone 3-7 with a 5.21 ERA and 1.59 WHIP, walking 40 while striking out 81.

As Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes, the promise the Mets starting rotation once showed continues to fade by the day.’s Anthony DiComo reports that Chris Flexen, the team’s No. 22 prospect (per MLB Pipeline), will start in Wheeler’s place Thursday against San Diego. In seven starts for Double-A Binghamton, Flexen has gone 6-1 with a 1.66 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. He’s walked only four batters in 48.2 innings, striking out 50.

Is Michael Conforto a long-term answer in center field?

Jul 11, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; National League outfielder Michael Conforto (30) of the New York Mets before the 2017 MLB All-Star Game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If the 24-year-old has his way, the answer to that question would be yes.

“I think as long as I can play there, I would definitely enjoy playing there,” Conforto told Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News. “If you’re asking me, I’d love to play out there every day. It’d be awesome,”

Of course, where Conforto plays on a daily basis isn’t up to him, but manager Terry Collins, who had a different take on his long-term outlook.

“I think he actually will end up fitting better on the sides. But right now, he’s worked so hard at seeing balls off the bat and getting jumps that he can play out there if you have to,” Collins told Tasch. “But I think when this guy becomes a star in this league, which he’s destined to become, you’re gonna end up seeing him at one of the wings, probably.”

That might ultimately be the case, but for Mets fans, it’s hard not to dream of an outfield where Conforto is flanked by Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce, with Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo waiting in the wings as reserves.

Veteran Bats Staying Put At Trade Deadline?

There’s been no shortage of trade rumors circulating around the Mets for weeks. Relievers Jerry Blevins and Addison Reed, along with everyday players like Jay Bruce, Asdrubal Cabrera, Lucas Duda, and Curtis Granderson have been the most popular names bandied about.

But according to’s Mark Feinsand, only a handful of those players are drawing significant interest from contending clubs.

Of that group, Reed would seem to have the most value. Multiple contenders, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, are on the hunt for reliable late-inning bullpen arms. The 28-year-old has been terrific, posting a 2.35 ERA and 1.07 WHIP while converting 16-of-18 save opportunities.

But the Mets may be overvaluing their most valuable trade chip, according to Matthew Cerrone of SNY’s Mets Blog.

It’ll be interesting to see who blinks first: Alderson or the market.

Other Mets News, Links

  • ESNY’s Zachary Weisleder takes a look at the bats that, had the pitching staff not fallen apart, might have carried the Mets into the postseason.
  • Newsday‘s Marc Carig has the details on a former big-league reliever who the Mets have signed to a minor-league deal.
I've been dunked on by Shaq and yelled at by Mickey Mantle. ESNY Editor In Chief. UMass alum. Former National Columnist w/Bleacher Report & former member of NY Knicks Basketball Ops department. Nephew of Rock & Roll Royalty.