Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler, who is recovering from 2015 Tommy John surgery, will have a minor surgical procedure to remove an undissolved stitch that remains in his elbow, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. The minor surgery will slow Wheeler’s recovery by about two weeks, Rubin notes, but it is not considered serious in nature. The lingering stitch was the lone issue that appeared on a recent MRI that Wheeler underwent as a checkup, and the test was otherwise “super clean,” per Rubin’s source. Wheeler’s target date for a big league return is July 1.
Here’s more from the division…
- The Braves have sought a pre-arbitration bat that they can insert into the middle portion of their lineup in trade talks for right-hander Julio Teheran, writes ESPN’s Jim Bowden in an early rundown of some potential 2016 trade candidates. The Cubs were an oft-cited potential trade partner for the Braves this offseason, and Bowden again lists them as a speculative fit, noting that either Jorge Soler or Javier Baez could hold appear. Of course, in addition to the fact that it’s extremely rare for trades of that magnitude to occur in April, the Cubs are also still waiting to learn the full extent of Kyle Schwarber’s left leg injury. (A prolonged absence for Schwarber would make it more difficult for Chicago to part with Soler.) Nonetheless, it’s worth keeping in mind as the season wears on; Teheran is controlled through 2019 for a total of $29.6MM, and his contract includes a $12MM club option for the 2020 season.
- Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill confirmed top prospect Tyler Kolek’s Tommy John surgery and elaborated on the injury a bit, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports. “It was a complete tear of the [ulnar collateral] ligament,” Hill said. “They said there were no issues, that surgery went well, and now he’s on the road to recovery.” Kolek had been tabbed to open the season at Class-A Greensboro before eventually moving up to the Class-A Advanced Florida State League, but he’ll now be on the shelf for 12 to 18 months as he recovers, Frisaro writes.
- After David Hernandez and Dalier Hinojosa each blew their first save opportunities of the season for the Phillies, manager Pete Mackanin tells reporters, including MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, that fellow righty Jeanmar Gomez is next in line for a save opportunity. “We’re auditioning,” said Mackanin, who is in his first full season as Philadelphia’s skipper. “We’ve got to find out. It’s a daily question. Why not Gomez? Let’s see what he can do.” Hernandez was signed with the idea that he could potentially fill the ninth-inning role for the Phils, and it’s worth noting that his second appearance was a clean inning with much-improved velocity. However, for the time being, there’s little clarity in the Phillies’ ninth-inning scene. (On a related note: fantasy players looking to monitor the situation and other ninth-inning scenarios around the league can follow MLBTR’s @closernews Twitter account for daily updates on saves-related news.)