Mike Puma of the New York Post is reporting that right-hander Zack Wheeler is beginning to ramp up towards his “spring training” in the next two weeks. Wheeler is still currently on schedule to make an early July return to the Mets rotation. Wheeler is currently rehabbing from a Tommy John operation that occurred in March 2015. Wheeler’s 60-Day DL expiration date is May 31st, which would make you believe he will begin pitching in rehab games shortly after for the next thirty days, which indeed places him at an early July return.
Bartolo Colon who has filled in admirably for the Mets in Wheeler’s place, is expected to pitch out of the bullpen once Wheeler returns. He has posted an exceptional 3-1 record, with a 2.82 ERA in seven appearances (six starts) this season. Colon who pitched out of the bullpen last postseason, is also expected to make spot-starts for the Mets down the stretch of the season.
Wheeler’s return will be a huge addition for the Mets already loaded rotation. In Wheeler’s last season dating back to 2014, he posted an 11-11 record with a 3.54 ERA while posting 187 strikeouts. Wheeler also had pitched that memorable complete-game shutout against the Miami Marlins during the 2014 season. It’s hard to imagine the Mets rotation getting any better than it already is, but another top-flight ace will be added to the equation in July.