After the nearly super-mortal start Matt Harvey has had to his career, we all thought Zack Wheeler would follow the same trajectory. He has not, and that’s okay.
Wheeler had his second straight subpar outing on Sunday, allowing five runs on six hits over 4.2 innings against the Nationals as he suffered his first major league loss. There was some improvement — after walking eight batters in his first two starts, he only walked two Sunday. He struck out five batters, much better than the one he fanned in Chicago. Of course, he struck out seven in his scoreless debut against the Braves.
Zack Wheeler was billed as the future ace and Harvey as his trusty number two. Scouts drooled over his stuff. That led us to all types of expectations that Wheeler could not possibly live up to. He is apparently much more raw than Harvey was at this point in his career.
It looks like Wheeler will need more time until he is truly ready to compete at the big league level. Luckily the Mets have all the time in the world because they are a terrible team. Wheeler still has the tools to be a top of the rotation starter.
There are probably fans who have already given up on him. That is just crazy. Zack Wheeler may not ever be as good as Matt Harvey, but if Harvey continues to progress, no pitcher in baseball will be as good as him. Or maybe Wheeler will be even better. Wouldn’t that be something?