Zack Wheeler faced the Atlanta Braves for his second game of the spring on Sunday at Tradition Field. He threw three scoreless innings, allowed three hits, one walk and struck out three batters.
Wheeler opened the first inning by striking out the first batter he faced and even though he looked to have a live fastball, his main focus for the game was to work on a few things.
“Today was really just go out there and just work on some stuff, just because we face those guys [Braves] tons during the season.” Wheeler continues, “I was trying to work my changeup a lot today.”
Even though Wheeler decided to go with a different approach in the game, he wasn’t happy with the results, “A little erratic,” says the righty. “I’d like to forget what I just did out there.”
Wheeler was working on his game and trying some new things in an effort to improve his overall game. “I threw a change up to a righty a couple of times, don’t normally do that,” the young righthander told us after his outing. “I tried to mix stuff up a lot; threw a lot of off speed today, trying to get a different look.”
From a fan view, there didn’t seem to be anything different from Wheeler’s approach, and even Terry Collins felt he pitched a good game, “I thought he threw the ball very well,” said the skipper.
However, Wheeler is on a different level. He came into camp with a mindset that he wants the Opening Day assignment and that he wanted to help the Mets alleviate the loss of Matt Harvey as best as he can.
As I watched him perform on Sunday, I could see him attacking each batter with such a determined approach. His focus was there, his intensity was peaking, and you just know that when he finally figures it all out that he’s going to become something special for the Mets.
With approximately three weeks before the regular season starts, Wheeler has time to work on his full repertoire of pitches and by then he should be ready to lead the Mets rotation.