5:47pm: Wheeler has a mild flexor strain, Mike Puma of the New York Post was among those to tweet. He won’t throw for two more weeks, which would make a return this season appear to be rather unlikely since he’ll still require a full ramp-up from that point. Of course, if the Mets make it into the post-season then Wheeler could theoretically be in play, but it remains to be seen how the organization will approach things given his somewhat uneven TJ recovery and future importance to the team.
3:41pm: Mets righty Zack Wheeler visited Dr. James Andrews recently after experiencing discomfort in his right elbow, which carries a newly-installed ulnar collateral ligament. Fortunately, the examination revealed “nothing devastating” about the 26-year-old’s arm health, per ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin (Twitter link).
While it seems that we’ll need to await further details on just what Andrews advised, the preliminary news suggests that the scariest possibilities aren’t on the table at this point. Perhaps the worst outcome would be the need for another new UCL, but while that always remains a threat to any pitcher, it appears that Wheeler doesn’t have cause to fear a re-started recovery process.
At the same time, there still doesn’t appear to be much hope that Wheeler will make it back to the big league mound this year. Given the starts and stops he has experienced already, the more likely scenario might involve some fall or winter appearances in hopes that he can ramp back up next spring.
Wheeler owns a 3.50 ERA in 285 1/3 career innings, making him one of the more promising young starters in baseball. But he hasn’t thrown a big league frame since 2014, despite once seeming on track to return in the middle of the current campaign.