Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler has missed two straight seasons due to Tommy John surgery and a complication-filled recovery therefrom. Now his spring is starting out rocky as well.
Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said today that Wheeler felt “a little tenderness” in his elbow following his bullpen session. The thought is that it’s just scar tissue and he’ll be OK, but they said that when he started having setbacks last year too.
The Mets were already looking at an innings limit in the low 100s for wheeler this year, as well as a lot of time in the pen to manage his workload. If his elbow is wonky this spring, it could be even less than that.
The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr.
Upton, 33, battled a torn thumb ligament and a shoulder issue last season, limiting him to only 12 games with Triple-A Sacramento, the Giants’ affiliate. In those 12 games, he hit .244 with one double and one home run. Upton last played in the majors in 2016 with the Padres and Blue Jays with which he posted an aggregate .693 OPS.
Given the injuries suffered by Indians outfielders in the past couple of seasons it can’t hurt to have some options for organizational depth. If he has anything left in the tank, stash him on the bench or down in Columbus. If not, no harm done.