The promotion of Zack Wheeler has been in discussion since the beginning of the season. Barring injury or poor performance (unlikely due to talent), it was the general consensus that Wheeler would be promoted this season.
These rumblings have now come to fruition as it is rumored Wheeler will make his MLB debut as soon as next week. This opens up the discussion of who to send down. If this question was asked a few weeks ago, the prevailing theory would have been that Shaun Marcum was a lock, due to his sizable contract, with Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner battling it out for the final spot. However, the recent success of both Gee and Hefner has leveled the playing field.
Over his last two starts, Gee has thrown 14.1 innings, struck out 19, allowed one earned run, and walked just one batter. Hefner counters with 13.0 innings, four earned runs, 12 strikeouts and one walk. Conversely, Marcum, has allowed six earned runs over his last two starts spanning 13.2 innings with 16 Ks and two walks.
Obviously, this is a very small sample size. Assuming that these guys maintain their production, the decision will come down to each pitcher’s versatility. Prior to the Subway Series (and before the stats listed above), Collins suggested that Gee had the characteristics to be a reliever – a veiled way of saying he would be the odd man out?
Given recent events however, I would imagine that the decision will come down to performance. While some may suggest that Marcum would stay in the rotation because of his contract, I want to remind you that it is just a one-year deal worth 4 million – certainly not a deal that would break the bank.
Either way, this will be a very interesting storyline to follow leading up to the arrival of Wheeler. Heck, even if the Mets stink it up, there is still plenty going on to maintain our interest as we look to the future.