Mets camp was abuzz Wednesday after Zack Wheeler threw his first batting practice session, yet it appears there is no possible way he will make the team out of Spring Training.
The media and several players watched, and everybody walked away impressed.
“Just the ball comes out of hands so easy,” Ike Davis said according to ESPNNewYork.com. “You can just tell when someone has good stuff. Just seeing him pitch for the first time, you can tell that it’s there… The first time seeing him on the mound, especially the first day and probably not going full-go, it looked pretty good.”
“He’s got some late life on his fastball,” Justin Turner said. “It kind of jumps on you — kind of like that late explosion that (Stephen) Strasburg has on his fastball. I was impressed. That late life makes it tough for guys. You see it, and then it really gets on top of you in a hurry. Obviously, with his velocity, he’s going to do that anyway. But it’s definitely not a smooth, easy 98. It’s an explosion out of his hand coming in there, so the ball looks like a little aspirin. I was impressed.”
People are calling Zack Wheeler a potential ace, but he is still apparently ticketed for Las Vegas (that sounds so much better than Buffalo!), and that is just not fair.
Whatever happened to winning a job because of superior performance? Dwight Gooden was supposed to go to Triple-A in 1984, but he lit up Spring Training and made the club, and we all know that worked out.
Why not let Wheeler win a job? It’s all about the money. Bringing him up in mid season would delay his free agency and arbitration by a year, and that is precisely what the Mets will do, just like they did with Matt Harvey last season.
It really isn’t fair to Zack Wheeler, who may well be ready for the majors. And it is not fair to the fans, who deserve to have the best 25 players on the roster. So much for trying to win.