Mets' top prospect Wheeler expected to debut during next homestand
In an attempt to give the 23-year-old his best chance of early success, the Mets are likely to hold off Wheeler's debut until June 14-16, when the team will face the Chicago Cubs, who are currently 4th in the NL Central with a 23-32 record.
Part of the reason that Wheeler's debut has been delayed to this point in the season is that the Mets wanted to avoid Super Two status with their top prospect. By calling up Wheeler in mid-June, the Mets will also delay his arbitration eligibility.
Wheeler is a 6'4'' righty with a heavy, sinking fastball that he throws upwards of 98 mph. He throws a serviceable curveball and slider, both of which have the potential to become very reliable pitches. His changeup is currently below average, but he has a shot at turning it into a viable option.
So far this season, Wheeler has registered a 4-1 record in 11 starts with Triple-A Las Vegas, and has posted a 3.86 ERA. He finished 2012 with a 3.26 ERA, spending time with both Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo. He will make one more start for Las Vegas before being called up.
The Mets' hope is obviously that Wheeler will give a boost to their starting rotation, which shouldn't be too difficult considering the struggles behind their ace. Many consider Wheeler to have legitimate No. 2 starter potential.