New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right biceps tendinitis. The news comes after the Mets spent Tuesday insisting that Wheeler was fine despite his recent struggles.
“Wheeler’s injury will require both therapy and rehabilitation,” Dr. Selene Parekh, an orthopedic surgeon at Duke University, said. “He may also need anti-inflammatories and rest, and though he may be day-to-day, expect him to return in about two weeks.”
After missing the entire 2016 season rehabbing from a torn rotator cuff, Wheeler had seemed to get right back on track to start the season. But disaster has struck his past two starts, with the most recent coming in New York’s 10-6 loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday. Wheeler has lasted just 3.2 innings in the two starts combined, surrendering 15 earned runs and five home runs. The outtings have caused Wheeler’s earned run average to balloon, going from 3.45 all the way to 5.29, and Wheeler is 3-5 on the season.
Wheeler had been a factor in fantasy play prior to his last two times on the mound, and with the resulting injury, is now owned in just 22 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues. Outside of his two poor starts, though, Wheeler has had a strong start to 2017 and may be worth a waiver wire addition for teams that are currently struggling with starting pitching. If the 27-year old can get back on track, he profiles as a hard-throwing, high strikeout right-hander that will put in 6-7 innings per start. Wheeler could be an interesting guy to take a flyer on at this point of the season, but do not expect much from a guy going through a rough patch after missing all of last season.
In a corresponding roster move, the Mets recalled starting pitcher Tyler Pill and reliever Erik Goeddel while demoting infielder Matt Reynolds. Neither Pill nor Goeddel should be a fantasy option right now in a weekly format, as Pill will probably make only a couple of starts before Wheeler comes back, and Goeddel will not be in any save situations barring an injury to closer Addison Reed. In a pinch for daily leagues, though, Pill may be an interesting option, as he is starting Wednesday’s contest against the Dodgers for the Mets and has let up a combined four earned runs in two starts in 2017.