Wheeler Must-See Watch In 2015

Of all the Mets, Zack Wheeler is the one I am most curious to watch this summer. Wheeler made a strong first impression in 2013 and improved last season to 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA while working 185.1 innings in 32 starts.

WHEELER: High expectations. (AP)

WHEELER: High expectations. (AP)

His durability last year indicates 200-plus innings is within reach. We don’t know Wheeler’s ceiling, but our expectations are realistically high.

Wheeler averages over nine strikeouts per nine innings, but also just over four walks which is  red-flag worthy.

There’s no doubting his stuff, but his command must improve. It’s not just the walks, but consistently running deep into the count. Consequently, he only worked into the seventh just 13 times. By comparison, 41-year-old Bartolo Colon pitched into the seventh or longer 18 times.

When looking at the development of a young pitcher, innings pitched might be most important as it indicates an ability to work out of trouble to give his team a chance to win.That’s why 200 innings was important to Colon last year and to Dillon Gee the previous season.

If Wheeler can cut the four walks he gave up in half and convert them into outs, that could have pushed him into the seventh nine more times last year if not longer because it would have reduced his pitch count. As it was, he threw over 100 pitches 24 times and at least 110 in 13 games.

This is the step Wheeler must take this summer. If he can, a lot of good things can happen.

 

7 thoughts on “Wheeler Must-See Watch In 2015

  1. JD,

    You mention developing young pitches. We all know they are not being developed but being babied. They live by the pitch count, never strengthening the arm to go the distance. When they show they can they are hampered. You starter needs to go 8 innings with the goal of 9. a goal of 6, you might as well not have a starter and just round robin your pitchers.
    I would like to see consistent pitching again and the goal of finishing the game, and a manager taking the pitcher out NOT because pitch is 99-or 100. but the pitcher obviously can’t cut it any longer or from the start .. depending where in the season if a pitcher gives up X runs in the 1-4 innings out he goes.. before the damage is beyond repair. If it’s early enough yeah leave him in, if the season is near over and no shot at the title .. definitely leave his butt in.. protecting their ERAs or W-L at that point is not the goal. It’s getting their minds right and letting them know you got us into this mess.. get us out.
    That’s baseball the way I remember it. Ask Joe Torre, when he was a met, what he regrets most. I think it was relieving a certain pitcher.. 😉

    Well that’s my 3 cents

    Steve C.

  2. I think the competition with Matt and Jacob will be good for him. I am looking forward to watching our young pitchers play can you top this?

    • I’ll say it..

      Maybe these guys are our generation X ( hopefully without the career ending injuries)