When it comes to pitching injuries, always bet the over.
Despite Zack Wheeler saying he would be all right to make his next start, his strained right oblique muscle – classified as mild – will keep him sidelined.
The Mets haven’t determined when Wheeler will throw again, but these things usually have several steps, including long tossing, throwing off the mound and perhaps a batting practice session. Add a day of rest between each step, so do the math.
Sandy Alderson said last night in a conference call there’s no sense rushing Wheeler if he’s not ready, that it is counterproductive. He meant in all areas, and if there’s a physical question Wheeler will sit.
Manager Terry Collins said last year at this time pitchers were throwing batting practice. This year, the Mets have already played a handful of games thanks to the accelerated scheduling because of the World Baseball Classic.
Players are creatures of habit, and that includes offseason preparation. Not being exposed to spring training with the WBC, perhaps Wheeler wasn’t physically ready for his program.
This has always been a concern, that players would be susceptible, especially pitchers, to injury.
SANTANA UPDATE: Assuming no setbacks, the timetable for Johan Santana is to throw off a mound Friday, pitch batting practice or in a “B’’ game Tuesday, then in an exhibition game March 10 or 11.
MURPHY UPDATE: Daniel Murphy, down with a strained intercostal muscle in his right side, is a week to ten days away from playing in a game. That’s pretty much what the Mets said when he was injured several days ago.
FELICIANO UPDATE: Pedro Feliciano has been cleared to resume throwing, but will keep wearing the heart.
NOTE: I will have several more posts throughout the day.