Zack Wheeler was a budding star for the New York Mets. He was on track to dominate the league with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz. Unfortunately for the Mets, this has not worked out. One part of this is Zack Wheeler’s derailment. Wheeler tore his UCL back in Spring Training last year. After a few opinions by doctors, Zack decided to undergo the infamous Tommy John surgery. This indefinitely sidelined him for the season, and with Matt Harvey coming off the surgery, the Mets knew they needed to handle Wheeler correctly, or the franchise could be in deep trouble. It was expected of Wheeler to be back in July of 2016, but setbacks made it clear that it would not be possible. Wheeler has felt consistent discomfort in his right elbow, and a return this year seems impossible.
Furthermore, Zack Wheeler will most likely be shut down for the 2016 season. Unless New York happens to explode and end up competing in late September, Wheeler will not play. Yesterday, he visited Dr. Andrews about a discomfort in his elbow only a few days after a rehab start. On that note, what should we expect from him next year? Well, we probably should not expect much. As fans we all have to remember that this man’s career was taken off the rails due to a body part a good percentage of Americans don’t know exist. Yes, Strasburg and others seemed unhittable after Tommy John. But also, so many others never played at a high level again. It has been taken for granted the fact that there is not a high success rate for pitchers coming off the surgery. Unfortunately, while Zack could come back stronger and potentially better, his career could potentially be derailed forever.
Assuming Wheeler’s career is not ruined what should we expect from him, stat wise? Honestly, Wheeler was more of a player with a ton of potential to a bonafide superstar. If Wheeler plays as he should, Mets fans should expect 10-15 wins, an ERA in the mid-threes, and around 150 strikeouts. His whip could be inflated due to his lack of control, but other than that, Wheeler should be adequate. If he exceeds expectations a 17 win, 2.50 ERA and 200 strikeouts is not unheard of. But to reiterate the negative side of this projection, Wheeler could falter to a poor win-loss record, an earned run average of close to four and near 100 strikeouts. Hopefully, Zack Wheeler can stay healthy and succeed in a Mets uniform.