MIAMI (AP) Zack Wheeler watched from afar as the New York Mets endured a succession of chilly games to start the season, while he was enjoying better weather with Triple-A Las Vegas.
”It has been like 70 and sunny and nice,” Wheeler said Tuesday.
Even so, the right-hander was glad to leave Vegas and be back with the big league club. He’ll make his first start of the year Wednesday against Miami as the last piece of a rotation expected to be one of baseball’s best.
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”It’s an awesome rotation,” Wheeler said. ”It speaks for itself. I’m just happy to be a part of it. Hopefully I can stay here.”
This will be the first time Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz have made successive starts. The quintet has been the Mets’ dream rotation since 2015, but for two seasons they were never all healthy at the same time.
And when Wheeler struggled in March during spring training, he found himself briefly back in the minors to work on tweaking his delivery.
”He did a really good job of honing in on some things he needed to work on,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. ”I think you’re going to see a confident Wheeler out there.”
With Vegas, Wheeler allowed one earned run and three hits over five innings Friday as he polished a change in his arm action. He also enjoyed monitoring the Mets and their fast start.
”It was fun,” he said. ”I watched every game. It was cold, but they’re playing well.”
Weather won’t be a problem Wednesday, because the Marlins have a retractable roof. Wheeler doesn’t expect butterflies to be an issue either.
”I’m going to go out there and do the same thing I did the other day – stay calm, not try to overthrow,” he said. ”I’ve been up here before, so I think I can control my adrenalin.
”I’m grateful to be up here, and hopefully I can make a statement.”
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