NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mets skipper Terry Collins wants fans to manage their expectations ahead of pitching prospect Zack Wheeler’s promotion to the big leagues.
“I hope everybody understands if and when this guy comes, he’s not going to be the savior,” Collins said Tuesday. “There’s a lot of pieces that have to work.
“One guy is not going to turn this around for us. It takes 25.”
The team’s upcoming June 14-16 series against Chicago or the June 17-20 series at Atlanta “have been targeted as the most likely dates” for Wheeler’s debut, the New York Daily News reported on Sunday.
The 23-year-old impressed in camp before an oblique injury in spring training set him back. He was acquired in the July 2011 trade that sent Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants.
Fans have been looking forward to Wheeler’s call-up as a potential bright spot in another subpar season. They’re hoping he can make the transition as seamlessly as Matt Harvey, who debuted last July and hasn’t looked back.
“Certainly, everybody’s excited because he’s a prospect, and you look down the road with that arm and that stuff and he could be a good pitcher for a long time,” Collins said. “But there’s a lot of adjustments there that have to be made by him, as Matt made them.”
Wheeler is 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 58.1 innings this season (11 starts) for Triple-A Las Vegas.
“Everybody expects this to happen, and I don’t know when it’s going to happen,” said Collins. “When the time comes, it’ll probably be if someone’s not pitching well, they’ve got to be a candidate to come out. If everybody’s pitching good and this kid comes, then we’ll have to make a decision on who would fit best someplace else.”
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