PORT ST. LUCIE — Zack Wheeler got through it. The Mets right-hander threw two innings in a split-squad game against the Braves Friday, the first time he had faced major league batters since March 2015 Tommy John surgery.
“I am happy with it, but there were a couple of times I was too fast to the plate and I had to slow myself down,” Wheeler said. “I had a lot of adrenaline out there. It was expected.
“But it was good to be back out there,” Wheeler said.
The 26-year-old has been through several setbacks in his attempt to come back from Tommy John surgery and made just one minor league appearance last season before being shut down with a flexor muscle strain. So getting through an outing Friday was a big step.
“They say he threw the ball fine, two innings. Obviously less than the 35 pitches, which was going to be max, but those were good signs,” said Terry Collins, who stayed behind with the home squad to watch Matt Harvey and Tim Tebow.
Wheeler last pitched in a major league game Sept. 25, 2014. The Mets are expecting him to begin the season in extended spring training and then work his way back into their rotation. A front office plan to try him in the bullpen was torpedoed by the Mets baseball staff.
A hard-thrower with a deceptive delivery, Wheeler could be a big late-spring addition to the Mets rotation.
Addison Reed was hit hard Friday, giving up six runs on six hits, including two home runs. In five appearances this spring, the Mets’ set-up man has allowed nine earned runs on 12 hits in five innings pitched.
“Addi is a command guy. Right now, he’s just trying to do anything other than just pound the strike zone,” Collins said. “Today was a bad day for him.”
While Collins said he wasn’t concerned about Reed, it could be an issue. If Jeurys Familia is suspended by MLB for his domestic violence case, the plan is for Reed to be the Mets’ closer.
Yoenis Cespedes hit his fourth home run of spring, his second in two days in the Mets’ 7-6 loss to the Astros. Lucas Duda also homered, bringing the Mets’ home run total to a major-league, spring training leading 22 home runs. The Mets have hit homers in 13 of 15 games.
Last season, the Mets hit a franchise-record 218 homers.
Published at Sat, 11 Mar 2017 06:32:40 +0000