Wheeler Says He’s Ready, How He Compares To Harvey

An article by posted on June 11, 2013

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Mark Hale of the New York Post spoke with Zack Wheeler who told him that he;s ready for the challenge that awaits him.

“Overall, I feel like I’m ready,” Wheeler said. “My past two starts, I haven’t been happy with my command, especially my last start. In the fifth inning I started to leave a lot of balls up. It happens. You just need to find the command and feel more comfortable with your mechanics.”

Ready or not, Wheeler is on his way and will finally make his debut on June 18th.

I reached out to Lynn Worthy of the Press & Sun Bulletin, who was kind enough to answer several questions for me about the Double-A Binghamton Mets who he does a great job covering. I’ll be posting his insights throughout the day along with some of my thoughts.

Oddly enough (not really), my first question to him was regarding a pair of former B-Mets… I think some you may have heard of them…

You were fortunate enough to see both Matt Harvey in 2011 and Zack Wheeler in 2012 pitch for the B-Mets. What are some of their similarities and differences? And based on your own observations how do they compare?

The obvious similarities were how hard they threw (hitting 96 miles per hour regularly), the fact that they were highly-touted prospects before they got here, and how after a few starts opposing hitters just started jumping on the first fastball they saw from each of them. For that matter, that all applies to Jeurys Familia when he was here too.

Harvey wasn’t as consistently dominant in Binghamton as Wheeler was. Remember Harvey came here during his first pro season, and he came after starting the season at St. Lucie. He made 12 starts in Binghamton, and in several starts he didn’t make it late into games because of his pitch count. He’d have rough innings where he would walk batters early in games because – as he even admitted – he would try to establish all his pitches right away.

Harvey actually only threw more than five complete innings twice with the B-Mets. He hit 10 strikeouts once. He didn’t record a win until his seventh start. He would have starts where he’d struggle a little early and then be overpowering an inning later.

He was very intense. I still recall talking to him after his final start – he went just three innings, gave up four runs and walked four – and he wanted no part of talking about the season as a whole. All he could do was boil over his last start.

Wheeler began the season here, and he was dominating almost right away. He made 19 starts here and went five innings or more in 16 of them. At times he struggled to command certain pitches, but he still seemed to find a way to get guys out. He rarely got hit hard. He only gave up two home runs, and one came in his last start in Binghamton.

It seems to me that Wheeler fluctuated more in sharpness and command of his off-speed pitches. He threw some curveballs and sliders that were absolutely nasty at times, and other starts they were just okay. However, he seemed to be able to adjust within the game and get through five, six, seven innings. Even on bad days, he jammed hitters and broke bats.

When you looked at Wheeler, he didn’t give off the intensity that Harvey did. However, Wheeler always seemed confident in his stuff even when he didn’t have his best.

I want to thank Lynn for taking some time to answer a few questions for us. Follow him on Twitter at @PSBLynn and make sure to read his daily coverage of the B-Mets at the Press & Sun Bulletin or PressConnects.com.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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