Top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler was among the casualties in the first round of major league cuts in Mets camp this morning. Wheeler and nine others were re-assigned to minor league camp.
Wheeler, 22, has made only one appearance so far this spring on February 23, when he struck out two in two innings. He has missed significant time this spring with a strained oblique, which he suffered taking batting practice before his second scheduled start about two weeks ago. He threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Thursday and is scheduled to pitch a simulated game today,
Wheeler went 10-6 with a 3.26 ERA in 19 starts for Double-A Binghamton last season before moving up to Triple-A Buffalo late in the season. He made six starts and went 2-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 33 innings pitched. Between both teams, he struck out 148 batters in 149 innings while walking 59. Wheeler was a long shot for the pitching rotation with Johan Santana‘s Opening Day status in jeopardy. He is expected to make his big league debut in May or June if healthy.
Collin McHugh, Hansel Robles, Cesar Puello, Juan Lagares, Darin Gorski, Reese Havens, Wilfredo Tovar, Elvin Ramirez, and Gonzalez Germen were also re-assigned to minor league camp. 20 more players will be cut before Opening Day on April 1.