The Mets scratched Zack Wheeler from Saturday’s scheduled start due to a tender right elbow and now Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that he was sent for an MRI today.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson downplayed the severity of the situation yesterday, but he also revealed that Wheeler’s elbow was an issue at times last season. In fact, Mets manager Terry Collins said this afternoon that Wheeler pitched in “a lot” of games where his elbow bothered him, so he’s glad he said something this time. No MRI was originally scheduled, but the Mets at least want to play it safe before putting him back out there. It’s not quite panic time yet, but it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.
After being mentioned in trade rumors for most of the offseason, Dillon Gee currently projects to begin the season in the bullpen, but he would presumably have a rotation spot if Wheeler needs to miss some time.
Wheeler turns 25 in May and posted a 3.54 ERA (98 ERA+) with a 187/79 K/BB ratio across 185 1/3 innings last season. He threw 100 or more pitches in 24 of his 32 starts, including 15 of his final 16 starts.