Right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler was diagnosed today by Dr. James Andrews with a mild strained flexor muscle, after suffering yet another setback after his first rehab start on August 6th. Wheeler complained about discomfort in his elbow shortly after his rehab start and was shut down until he met with Dr. Andrews. Unfortunately Wheeler will continue to be shut down for the next two weeks as he will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection, and then it will be determined whether Wheeler will throw again this season.
While the good news is that Wheeler has no structural damage with the recently repaired elbow, it is highly doubtful that we will see the 26-year old right-hander with the big league club this season. Wheeler has suffered numerous setbacks this season including nerve irritation and an undissolved stitch in his elbow which has delayed his original July 1st return date. Assistant GM John Ricco acknowledged that time is no longer on Wheeler’s side but did not deny that he could resume pitching this season. While the Mets could certainly use Wheeler this season, I believe the best course of action would be to shut Wheeler down for the rest of the season and start fresh next spring.
The Mets more likely than not will head into Spring Training next season with two question marks in the starting rotation with both Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler coming off of injury. With Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz also likely undergoing a bone spur operation in the offseason as well, the health of the pitching staff will be something that will continued to be monitored all of next season.