Mets promote top prospect Zack Wheeler to AAA


Here’s a dose of positive news for Mets fans.

As first reported by CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler, top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler was officially promoted from Double-A Binghmaton to Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday as he continues his steady climb through the Mets’ minor league system.

Wheeler, acquired from the Giants last summer for outfielder Carlos Beltran, registered a superb 3.26 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 117/43 K/BB ratio across 116 innings this season at the Double-A level. The 22-year-old right-hander from Smyrna, Georgia was a first-round pick (sixth overall) in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft.

If the progress continues, Wheeler could be added to the New York starting rotation by early 2013.

Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters in mid-July that Wheeler won’t make the majors this year.

Bob Uecker is basically indestructible

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Tom Haurdicourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a story about beloved Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker’s frighteningly eventful offseason that’s definitely worth a read.

The frightening part: Uecker got bit by a brown recluse spider last October. He didn’t realize it at first and happened to show the bite to a doctor a couple of days later. The doctor realized how serious it was — brown recluses can kill people — and Uecker was rushed off to surgery. He’s fine now, back in the Brewers booth and actually joking about the spider bite.

The incident, though, leads Haudricourt to chronicle all of Uecker’s health issues over the years and the list is fairly amazing. I mean, we’ve written about some of his more recent health issues on this site, but I was unaware of just how many potentially fatal ailments Uecker has dealt with and beat in the past 25-30 years or so. Not that he’s too fazed by it all:

“I know I’m lucky. I’ve had 11 major surgeries overall. But, through all of that stuff, I made some unbelievable friends. All those doctors at Froedtert [Hospital]. We’re all friends now. So, a lot of good came out of it.”

That’s quite the perspective.

Uecker is 84. Counting his playing career he’s entering his 63rd year in baseball. He’s still one of the best, if not the best, broadcasters going. Thank goodness he wasn’t stopped by a spider of all things. Here’s hoping he keeps going for many more years to come.