Just Call Him Up Already

In case you missed it, Zack Wheeler had another great outing on Saturday night. Wheeler, the New York Mets’ top pitching prospect, threw 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball and struck out seven on Saturday for Triple-A Las Vegas. He gave up six hits and walked one.

According to ESPN, over his last three starts, Wheeler has thrown a combined 20 innings, surrendering just three earned runs . He’s struck out 19 in that span, allowing 14 hits. Most importantly, he has walked only three batters. Something has clicked.

It’s time to bring him up. I have run out of adjectives to describe the team’s play: terms like dismal, boring, depressing can only be used so many times before they lose their impact. This year’s team was given little chance to do anything before the season even began, but I don’t think anyone really realized just how bad things would get so quickly. Wheeler is certainly not the answer to all of the Mets’ woes, but together, perhaps he and Matt Harvey can provide somewhat of a firewall, the way Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman did for the team back in 1968. Zack isn’t doing the Mets any good in Las Vegas.

And yes, I disparaged him somewhat in my last post, but I think Wilmer Flores should get called up also.

In their place, I would send Ike Davis and Jordany Valdespin down. Let Ike hit his next 25 homeruns in the PCL so they can trade him next winter. I say this only as a distant observer, but I wonder if being the son of a major leaguer and now playing in the big leagues himself has gone to Ike’s head. I am nowhere near the clubhouse, but he seems somewhat sullen and I wonder if there isn’t an entitlement mentality at work here. Keith Hernandez did hint at that a few years ago. That was a terrible at bat he had in the eight inning of Sunday’s loss. Remember when the Pirates offered the Mets Sterling Marte for him?

Valdespin was hung out to dry this past weekend. He has a lot of talent and I hope that whoever is running the club next spring can reach him. Those long bus trips in the PCL may give him some time to ponder turning over a new leaf.

Set up a Daniel Murphy/Justin Turner platoon at first and let Flores take some reps at second. Since the Mets aren’t going to hit at all this year, I suggest going with defense in the outfield; that means Juan Lagares in center and Mike Baxter in right. I would put Murphy/Turner in the two hole, David Wright in the three spot, Lucas Duda cleanup. For the remainder, whoever is hot can lead off (imagine if that is John Buck!) with the rest of the lineup balanced right/left as best as possible. I don’t think this translates into winning baseball, but it might be watchable, which I would take at this point.

What do you think? Time to bring up Wheeler? Got any other (reasonable) moves in mind? Sound off below.

A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. TexasGusCC May 12, 2013 at 7:22 pm
    Sorry to say this, but this team has no leadership. They are going nowhere. So, why start the Wheeler clock for nothing?

    Flores is too raw to be brought up now. Let him play AAA and bring him up in September to see how he does.

    Ike Davis stared at Wright in an annoyed manner while walking back to the dugout in the 8th inning. Possibly, Davis was distracted by Wright running? Hope not the case, because that would question the focus of Davis. He may need to go down. He’s a talented hitter that is frustrated in Queens.

    Also agree on your thought for Valdespin. He can go to AAA to get a month of steady playing time and if they can get a manager that isn’t an a-hole, then bring him up in June.

    Put Brown in right, Lagares in center and Baxter/Byrd in left. Put Duda at first. The defense needs to improve.

    Last point, McHugh is doing well in AAA. Doesn’t he deserve a chance?

    • Kyle Schnitzer May 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm
      I wouldn’t consider Flores raw. He’s done very well so far at Triple-A. The only aspect missing right now is the power, which will come around. I rather have a guy who can work the count with an advance approach than passive Ike and Lucas.
  2. DaveSchneck May 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm
    Dan,
    If my math is correct, the Mets next 5 series cover 17 games, and 3 of the opponents are first place teams. Given what we have seen, it is highly likely that they will be buried mathematically and mentally after this stretch. That will render the balance of the 2013 schedule as exhibition games. Minimally, Wheeler should be up ASAP, regardless of the super 2 nonsense. Let him adjust to the bigs this year. Same for McHugh. Last fall wasn’t a good opportunity as he was tired and not pitching on regular rest. Let’s see what he can do every 5 days for the balance of 2013. Your comments on Flores, Spin, and Ike are interesting. I might be inclined to give Spin the 2B job as it would help determine his ability to play every day, and if he played well and didn’t mature his trade value would increase. Despite failing miserable to assemble a good 2013 roster, there is still much our GM can do if he ever gets off his backside.
  3. david May 12, 2013 at 7:58 pm
    Every Mets fan knows Wheeler should be promoted, and won’t be for 1 simple reason – Jeff Wilpon who is the real reason this franchise is in such a sorry state. Let’s stop talking about Wheeler coming up, and talk more about the need for the Wilpons to sell this team. Owning a baseball team is more than owing a business. It is akin to a business and trustee relationship. The Wilpons have repeatedly shown they don’t care about Mets fans and there is no reason for them to change their stripes now. I call on Mets fans to start demanding they sell the team.
    • TexasGusCC May 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm
      David, I agree with you 100%, but they cannot be forced to sell unless everyone stops going and they are losing money. The Coupons have Selig’s support, or they would’ve been out three years ago.
  4. Mcewing sucked May 13, 2013 at 2:10 am
    Valdespin needs to play everyday and bat lead off. We need to figure out what kind of player he is.

    Ideal OF is duda, valdespin and Lagares

    Wheeler needs to be up now. What do we have to lose?

    What yall think?

  5. Izzy May 13, 2013 at 8:40 am
    You all know the key dates for bringing a future “expensive ” player up. first choice was day one and that rarely happens anymore as teams want to own guys for an extra year. so that passed. Second choice is the day when you will own a guy for another year. that day is about 10% of the season. It passed Oh well, only teams who care about winning use that date becuase the third choice is thew date when a guy can’t be arbitration eligible. that’s the fun date because it is a guess based on when other teams bring guys up as well, as there are lots of teams trying to keep guys fromb eing super twos and starting the arbitration clock a year early. When lord Alderson feels comfy with the date, Wheeler comes up. Anything else you here from him Cohen, Collins is just bogus PR used by the vase majority of clubs.
  6. Dan B May 13, 2013 at 10:38 am
    I used to think Wheeler should be brought up as soon as he was ready but now I am thinking if waiting until june is good, then waiting until 2014 is great. What is the hurry? Bring him up in June of 2014 and he is under Met control until he is 30. Look up the phrase “tripping over a dollar to pick up a dime” on wilipedia and you will see Jeff Wilpon’s graduation photo from community college. (No offense to CC grads but if you can’t have your rich dad buy your way into a 4 year program, something is wrong)
    • DaveSchneck May 13, 2013 at 11:29 am
      Dan,
      Yes, there is a business approach given player control and cost, but I think Wheeler should be brought up when he is ready, and by all accounts he is just about ready. Keeping him down until the end of next April carries more risk in screwing up his career than it does benefitting the bottom line. Just because Harvey hit the MLB ground running doesn’t mean Wheeler will. To the extent that he may need to take some lumps at the big league level, just as soon let it happen in 2013, which Alderson has played into 2014 extended spring training.
    • Kanehl May 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm
      Dan B- He graduated?
  7. Dan B May 13, 2013 at 11:51 am
    (I was being sarcastic, well except for the Wilpon part)
    • DaveSchneck May 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm
      I know you are being sarcastic but the sad truth is that t wouldn’t surprise me at all I the Mets actually went with the June 2014 ETA, be it the work of an ivy leaguer or a community college.
  8. Kanehl May 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm
    He’s had 3 bad starts, 3 good ones. Let him stay at AAA till the June cutoff on the extra year. How does that extra 3 or 4 weeks in AAA hurt the 2013 Mets? Every 5 days, we lose 7-1 instead of 2-1? (Ask Matt Harvey about his 4 straight NDs.)