According to the report, Wheeler has thrown off the mound three times, logging just under 30 pitches in his last session on Sunday.
This could be a sign that Wheeler is nearing the start of a rehab assignment which is expected to last about a month long. Barring any further setbacks. that would put his return to the Mets at about mid to late August.
Original Report – July 15
In the midst of a season riddled with injuries to key players on the field, Zack Wheeler has almost become the forgotten man of the Mets’ Fab Five rotation.
But with former ace Matt Harvey‘s decision to undergo season ending surgery to address his Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, all eyes now turn to Wheeler to come back strong and dominate opposing hitters. Couple that with the bone spurs and arm fatigue of Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard, and the need for his return becomes even more urgent.
Wheeler, who is currently in Florida recovering from Tommy John surgery, has suffered two setbacks during his rehab. In April, the righty was shut down due to nerve irritation caused by an undissolved stitch in his elbow.
However, he quickly returned on the comeback trail, feeling healthy until elbow soreness forced another shutdown in early July. Wheeler expressed disappointment and frustration in his inability to contribute out of the All Star break.
“Them being down sort of makes me wish I could be up there to help out a little bit more and fill in for them,” Wheeler told Mike Puma of the New York Post.
The timetable for Wheeler’s return is now mid to late August, according to Puma. If his recovery continues on schedule, he will be healthy to pitch meaningful games down the stretch in September and hopefully October. Because his return to action is coming so late in the season, Wheeler would likely be able to pitch without any innings restriction.
To date, the Mets five young aces are yet to pitch together in the same rotation. In their combined careers, the staff has pitched to a 3.01 ERA while compiling an impressive 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings. While that window may be closing due to Harvey’s impending free agency, Wheeler still hopes for an opportunity to pitch with all of his talented rotation mates.
“You want to because it would be a freakin’ bad rotation… Hopefully we can all get up there and be healthy.”