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.”
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.