Wheeler, 26, hasn’t pitched for the Mets in a major league game since 2014, lasting only one inning in a rehab start last season for St. Lucie. In two seasons with the Mets, Wheeler has a 3.50 ERA over 285.1 innings. Over that span, he posted an 8.5 K/9 rate as well as a 3.9 BB/9 rate.
Wheeler had Tommy John Surgery in March of 2015 and had another minor surgery in April of 2016 to remove an undissolved stitch remaining from the previous TJS. Wheeler made a rehab start on August 6 this past season with St. Lucie, but was pulled after only 17 pitches. He was shutdown in early September with a flexor strain in his pitching arm.
It’s been widely reported that Wheeler could see some time in the bullpen in the upcoming season. Wheeler had this to say about the possibility, “I want to be a SP. But this season I may have to throw out of the ‘pen to keep my innings down. I know they’re looking out for me”.
Wheeler threw a career high 185.1 innings during the 2014 season, but given that he’s only thrown one since in two years it would make sense for the Mets to ease him back. In addition to pitching in relief, the Mets could also piggyback some of his starts with Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo, both of whom have been mentioned as bullpen options by GM Sandy Alderson.