The Mets won’t see Zack Wheeler this season as his comeback gets hit with setback after setback. He has persistent soreness in his right elbow and will be examined by orthopedic surgeon James Andrews.
The prudent decision would be to forget him for this season, give him a closely monitored conditioning and throwing program in the offseason and start again next spring.
The original plan was for Wheeler to be activated before the All-Star break and replaced in the rotation by Bartolo Colon.
Wheeler threw an inning in a rehab start last Saturday, which started the clock for him to be activated the first week in September.
He obviously isn’t throwing and the wonder is what he’ll bring to the table if anything when he’s activated. That begs the issue of whether they should just shut him down.
INTERESTING POSSIBILITY: The Mets say they are interested in acquiring another reliever. This afternoon the Nationals released Jonathan Papelbon.
The move seemed inevitable after the Nationals acquired closer Mark Melancon from Pittsburgh two weeks ago.
Papelbon is having a miserable season, ranking a league-worst among relievers in ERA, WHIP and strikeouts-to-walks ratio and he’s not considered a great clubhouse presence, although he was right to call out Bryce Harper last year.
Washington manager Dusty Baker said of Papelbon: “It wasn’t a real fit anymore.’’
If the Mets need a warm body, what will it hurt? Perhaps a change of scenery could help. Stranger things have happened and the situation is getting dire for the Mets.
INJURY UPDATES: The plan is to activate Yoenis Cespedes from the disabled list (strained quad) on Thursday. He will play in a rehab game Monday. … Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera could get in a rehab game Tuesday.
A NEW LINEUP … AGAIN: The Mets will field their 92nd lineup tonight in their 116th game.
Neil Walker, 2B
Jay Bruce, RF
James Loney, 1B
Wilmer Flores, 3B
Alejandro De Aza, CF