Zack Wheeler diagnosed with torn elbow ligament; Tommy John surgery “likely”

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Matt Harvey isn’t even officially back from his Tommy John surgery yet and now another young Mets starter is bound for the same operation and year-long rehab.

Zack Wheeler has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and, while no decision has been made yet, Tommy John surgery is considered “likely.”

Damn.

Wheeler was the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft and the Mets stole him from the Giants in exchange for a few months of Carlos Beltran in mid-2011. He debuted in 2013 at age 23 and has thrown 285 innings with a 3.50 ERA in the majors, striking out 8.5 batters per nine innings and working in the mid-90s with his fastball.

He struggled in his spring training debut, allowing six runs while recording four outs, as Wheeler walked two batters and plunked three others. He was then scratched from his Saturday start, but the Mets initially downplayed the severity of the injury and there was originally no MRI exam even scheduled.

Wheeler’s injury robs Mets fans of seeing him alongside Harvey in the rotation until next season and also greatly decreases the odds of general manager Sandy Alderson trading starter Dillon Gee.

Ramón Laureano made an absolutely ridiculous play yesterday

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I talked about it in the recaps, but dear lord does Oakland A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano’s play in yesterday’s game against the Blue Jays deserve it’s own post.

Jays first baseman Justin Smoak led off the second with a single Then Teoscar Hernández then came up and hit a long drive to center. In what, in and of itself, would’ve lead the highlight reels yesterday, Laureano ranged back to the wall and reached over to rob Hernández of a homer.

Laureano is known best for his arm, though, and that’s when he unleashed that hose, attempting to double off Smoak at first base all the way from the warning track. The throw was not on target — indeed, it sailed way past first base — but that was itself impressive as all get-out. As A’s pitcher Brett Anderson said after the game, he’s pretty sure the throw went farther than Hernández hit the ball in the first place. The arm strength on display there was simply phenomenal. But it was also lucky.

Lucky because the throw went so far into foul territory that it gave Smoak the courage to break for second base. Laureano was not the only one playing great defense on the play, though: A’s catcher Nick Hundley backed up the play, got Laureano’s errant throw and fired it down to second, nailing Smoak. And heck, Hundley’s throw was nothing to sneeze at either:

That did not go as an outfield assist for Lauerano, obviously, as his bad throw — which would’ve been an error had Smoak managed to advance, we must admit — broke that up. So, in the books it goes as an F7 and then a separate 2-4 putout. Still, it just shows Laueano’s incredible defensive abilities, both with the leather and with that cannon he has for an arm.

An arm that, this play not withstanding, gets him plenty of assists. Indeed, he has has five assists this season already and has 14 assists in just 70 games, which is a lot. To put it in perspective, it usually takes somewhere between 12-18 to lead the league in a full season with 20 being an outlier of sorts, only seen once every five years or so.

So, if you’re gonna hit it to center against the A’s, make sure you hit it all the way out. And if Laureano gets to it, for god’s sake, don’t run on him.