After missing two full seasons from Tommy John surgery, Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler is starting to ease back in to the big league grind.
Wheeler, 27 at the end of the month, has pitched to a 2-0 record in his last four starts, while posting a 2.08 ERA and 19 strikeouts in his last 21 2/3 innings.
On Saturday, Wheeler improved to 3-2 on the season, after allowing two earned runs on four hits with five walks and five strikeouts in as many innings.
While Wheeler ran out of gas after five frames, what he demonstrated was positive and a good sign for what the righty can build on for the rest of the season.
“We can’t worry about July. Right now he’s a key part of this, so we’re going to send him out there and ride him,” Mets manager Terry Collins said when alluding to Wheeler’s innings limit. “When the time comes when we think he needs to be stopped, that will be a decision a lot of people will be involved in. But right now, he’s one of the horses we have got to ride to get us on the right track.”
In relief of Wheeler, Robert Gsellman tossed two scoreless innings on Saturday. He has pitched 7 2/3 innings of relief during his brief career and allowed one run (1.17 ERA).