The New York Mets put Zack Wheeler on the 10-day IL today with right shoulder fatigue. This season has been an ongoing struggle for Wheeler after he seemingly had it all together in 2018. He is 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA in 119 innings.
Wheeler falls in line with Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz as Mets starters who just have not been able to consistently pitch well. While healthy, all signs pointed towards the Mets potentially trading Wheeler at the trade deadline.
At first, many people look at the situation as the Mets killing their opportunity to move Wheeler at the deadline. He will have the opportunity to make two starts before July 31, should he stay healthy.
No matter how awful this season has seemed, the Mets are somehow 5.5 games out of the second wild card with plenty of time to catch up. Looking at it from the perspective of the Mets trying to get back in the race, someone needs to step up in Wheeler’s spot for the meantime.
Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman could be possible candidates, but neither of them has started a game this season which makes them unlikely. Walker Lockett and Corey Oswalt would be next in line considering the Mets have to replace Wheeler’s spot on the roster. Both have experience starting at the major league level, but neither has been able to pitch to any success.
The best option would be giving Chris Mazza an opportunity to start. He has only allowed one run in the 5.2 innings he has thrown so far. Mazza is obviously no Jacob deGrom, but has been a career minor leaguer who has grinded to get this opportunity. No matter what, he is better than two guys with career ERAs over six and over 10.