It seems that we know where Zack Wheeler will be for the New York Mets to open up the 2017 season. As Spring Training comes to close, Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters that Wheeler will be the fourth starter in the rotation.
As Alderson ended up telling reporters, Syndergaard will be the opening day starter. He will be followed by Jacob DeGrom, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Robert Gsellman. He mentioned that Seth Lugo and Rafel Mantero will end up battling for the final bullpen spot.
As far as Wheeler being put in the rotation, I feel that is foolish. From the standpoint that he is on a pitch limit and also has not pitched a full game in two years. It was mentioned during Spring Training that Wheeler would be placed on a 125 inning limit.
I would have figured we would have seen Wheeler either stay in the minors for the first half of the season or he would have been in the bullpen. My gut feel was Wheeler would be in the bullpen until either the end of June or after the All-Star break. But I guess not.
The problem that the Mets are facing, and if they abide by the innings limit, Wheeler will be done by the middle of June. The only thing I could think of is that Steven Matz won’t be out that long and they are using Wheeler as a stop gap Matz returns. However, the question that can be brought up is what happens if he is out for an extended time or possibly the season? He is out right now with elbow soreness.
My thinking once I heard the news that Matz will be out for a minimum of three weeks was Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman will get the final two spots in the rotation. The Mets are foolish for putting Wheeler in the rotation to open the season.
He will be making his season debut on April 8th when the Mets play the Marlins for the first time in the 2017 season.