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Mets aren’t promoting Zack Wheeler because he might be too good

May 31, 2013, 10:35 PM EDT

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The Mets aren’t promoting prospect Zack Wheeler for a spot start because the organization would feel pressure to extend his stint in the big leagues, says ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin:

Essentially, team brass internally resolved, New York couldn’t handle a spot start from Wheeler and return to Triple-A.

If the outing was too successful filling in for Niese, the pressure would have been overwhelming to keep Wheeler in the major league rotation. So the organization decided to bypass the potential agita and instead give Collin McHugh the assignment.

The 23-year-old Wheeler, rated the #11 overall prospect by Baseball America entering the season, has a 4.13 ERA in 52.1 innings. The Mets snagged Wheeler from the Giants in the Carlos Beltran trade in July 2011.

Mets manager Terry Collins said, “If Zack comes, we hope that he stays here for the rest of his time.”

  1. flamethrower101 - May 31, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Makes sense to me. I’d like to have him up only if he’s gonna be here for the long run, so I get that. But I can’t imagine he’s gonna be in the minors for too much longer if he keeps going the way he is.

    • stoutfiles - Jun 1, 2013 at 12:49 AM

      “has a 4.13 EiRA in 52.1 innings.”

      Last I checked, a 4.13 ERA in the minors isn’t super impressive.

      • dan1111 - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:51 AM

        AAA Las Vegas is one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the minors. He is also striking out a lot of people. 50 innings is a small sample size, obviously, but to the extent that it is meaningful, I think his stats are quite good given the context.

    • stoutfiles - Jun 1, 2013 at 12:49 AM

      “has a 4.13 ERA in 52.1 innings.”

      Last I checked, a 4.13 ERA in the minors isn’t super impressive.

      • mazblast - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        An ERA of 4.13 in the PCL, especially pitching home games at Las Vegas, is pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. He can use the extra time in AAA, since he didn’t get a full year of AA ball in last year when the Mets promoted him to Buffalo after 19 starts at Binghamton.

        One thing that the article doesn’t mention. By delaying Wheeler’s probably inevitable promotion to the Mets, they’re delaying the clock starting on his major league service and (they hope) eliminating him from possible Super Two status. This may save them a LOT of money down the line.

        It’s not as if the Mets are going to go from contender to non-contender by delaying his promotion, either. They’re doing something smart, which is very un-Met-like and really confusing if you know the Mets at all.

  2. mplsjoe - May 31, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    The Twins apparently have the same thoughts about Kyle Gibson.

  3. yousuxxors - May 31, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    I wish they would give Montero the start … there are plenty of spots to fill in that rotation.

  4. jssgriffi - May 31, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    And him staying in the majors would be bad why?? I don’t get this organization, it is hard being a fan of this team.

    • sahyder1 - Jun 1, 2013 at 12:34 AM

      Because it is hard controlling the number of innings at the MLB level. Just look at all the problems the Yankees had with Joba.

      • tanzkommandant - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:21 AM

        There’s been no definitive correlation between innings thrown & injury prevention.

    • mazblast - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      They’re smarter to take their time with him than it would be to rush him. He was pitching in Hi A ball in 2011 and was at AA for only 19 starts, so let him get some more AAA experience. I’m sure there is the usual New York pressure to promote him, but for financial and developmental reasons, leaving him at AAA for a while longer makes more sense.

      The Mets doing something sensible doesn’t sound right, but there it is.

  5. cmdrsmooth - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    4.12 ERA..no rush.

  6. rbj1 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Mets brass: “We’ve got a good young starter in the minors who could work out, leading us to trade one of our current starters for a bat. Makes too much sense for us to do anything about it.”

  7. Francisco (FC) - Jun 1, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Zack Wheeler won’t change the Met’s fortunes one way or another this season, let the man simmer and cook a while. They already have Matt Harvey to wow over. Next year Zack can come up when Alderson has had another season to figure out what the heck his position players can accomplish, what they can’t and how does he address it.

  8. urkiddddingme - Jun 1, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Wheeler has played 10 games (5 home, 5 road) 2.38 ERA on the road 5.88 ERA at home. Guess the Mets might know what their talking about. Vegas is a bandbox and Wheeler is showing what he can do away from there.

    • American of African Descent - Jun 1, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      Thing is that Wheeler is going to have to play in some band boxes in the majors. If he wants to be an ace pitcher, he should spend some more time learning to be effective in band boxes in the minors before coming up to the majors and the pressure of New York. If he wants to be a third or fourth starter, he’s probably ready now.

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