It was recently announced that New York Mets starter Jon Niese would open the season on the DL with an elbow condition, leading many to speculate on who will be the starting pitcher for the Mets on Opening Day against the Washington Nationals. Rumors circulated that it could now be Dillon Gee who is thrust into the spot, but Zack Wheeler continued to make the case for himself, as the youngster pitched another fine Spring Training outing against the Atlanta Braves.
Wheeler threw 75 pitches over the course of 5 and 1/3 innings, allowed five hits including a home-run, walked one, struck out two and gave up two runs. In the sixth, he was replaced by Kyle Farnsworth with two runners on base, and Farnsworth was able to get Wheeler out of trouble, leaving him with a no-decision during the Mets’ comeback 7-6 win over the Braves in Port St. Lucie.
Control has been Wheeler’s kryptonite throughout his career, but the young stud is proving time in and time out that he is far more in command and control than he has showcase, especially in the minors, when he showed a tendency to lose hitters he was ahead of leading to a habit of walks.
The debate will now intensify on just who should get the Opening Day nod for the Amazing’s, and if Mets brass pays any attention to what their fanbase thinks, they will know that support for Wheeler has been mounting all spring, and his recent performances will make it incredibly difficult to justify running out anyone other than Zack for their home opener at Citi-Field on March 31.