Surprise! The New York Mets have lost yet another starting pitcher to injury.
We’ve placed Zack Wheeler on the 10-day DL retroactive to July 23 with a stress reaction in his right arm and recalled Tyler Pill. #Mets
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 24, 2017
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.
Getting to be safer bet all the time that we'll never see deGrom, Harvey, Matz, Syndergaard, Wheeler in same rotation at same time #Mets
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 24, 2017
MLB.com’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?
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.
RELATED: Three Reasons Not to Trade Jay Bruce
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 MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, only a handful of those players are drawing significant interest from contending clubs.
Source: Mets getting interest in Reed, Cabrera and even Duda. Not much on Bruce or Granderson.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 24, 2017
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.
— Matthew Cerrone (@matthewcerrone) July 24, 2017
It’ll be interesting to see who blinks first: Alderson or the market.