Today fans of the New York Mets received unfortunate news that they are all too familiar with. Just 18 months removed from their ace, Matt Harvey falling victim to what is becoming baseballs “epidemic”, another key piece to the franchises immediate success Zack Wheeler is likely to miss all of this season. After a shaky spring thus far, Wheeler had begun dealing with elbow discomfort. This morning news surfaced that the preliminary diagnosis is a torn UCL. He is currently flying back to New York to confirm.
One of the more crucial pieces of a talented young rotation that features ace Matt Harvey, and last years rookie of the year Jake deGrom, this certainly hurts the Met’s. Wheeler’s second half last season showed a lot of promise which adds insult to injury. There is some light that shines through for Mets fans though. Their franchise has been heavily criticized for not using their surplus of pitching to acquire more offensive pieces, most notably at the shortstop position. Since they chose not to trade their pitching assets, they now have some options who may be able to step up and help ease the pain of losing Zack Wheeler. Lets take a look.
First off the most obvious, and in my opinion likely option, and Dillon Gee. After being the Mets opening day starter last season, he finds himself in a precarious situation. He was figured to come out of the bullpen for the team, but now he makes sense as a fifth man in the rotation, due to his experience. The second option is the one that would bring the most noise, that being stud prospect, Noah Syndergaard. The highly touted prospect has been regarded as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball but the Mets have been very cautious with him, as they have been waiting for exact right time to bring him up. The third and fourth options would be the young and talented Rafael Montero and Steven Matz. Montero is more likely to see the spot than the highly touted lefty prospect Matz, who has impressed in the minors specifically due to the fact he has been called up before.
The point of the matter is Tommy John is taking over baseball. Its becoming common place and unfortunately it doesn’t look like that is going change anytime soon. The most recent victim for the New York Mets, Zack Wheeler certainly hurts the teams chances of competing this year, but thanks to their depth at pitching its not the end of the world for a promising young organization.