Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mets Considering Zack Wheeler for Bullpen

Alderson plans to have Addison Reed slide into the closer role in Familia’s expected absence. The team potentially will add a couple of middle relievers, ideally on one-year deals.

“The first guy we signed was a two-year deal, and that didn’t work out,” Alderson said, referring to the Mets’ signing of D.J. Carrasco in December 2010, shortly after Alderson took over as GM.

 “We’ve had subsequent two-year deals that didn’t work out all that well. In fact, we have about one a year. That’s why I think we’ll be a little bit cautious, especially with that midrange.”

Alderson said the answer may be using some of the Mets’ starting-pitching depth in relief next season, assuming everyone is healthy. Alderson listed Zack Wheeler as a potential reliever, presumably with Robert Gsellman in the rotation. Wheeler has missed the past two seasons while dealing with setbacks from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent in March 2015.

Alderson suggested Wheeler may be a suitable reliever because he throws hard, and bullpen work may “minimize whatever lack of control may exist.”

“There’s no reason for us to say, ‘Well, he’s got to be a starter,’” Alderson said. “Now, he may feel that way himself. But it may be that coming back after two years he’s better off pitching out of the pen. You might have to be careful. You might not be able to pitch him back-to-back [days]. It might have to be two innings at a time. These are all hypothetical at the moment. But I don’t see any reason to just eliminate that possibility.”
I like this idea. As long as Wheeler's been gone now and with the higher risk of aggravating his injury if he continues to be a starter, he could be the in-house answer to the bullpen help the Mets so desperately need.

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