Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter





Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 58
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    25,141
    vCash
    1500

    Zack Wheeler: A live-armed enigma

    Zack Wheeler: A live-armed enigma

    LAS VEGAS -- Zack Wheeler’s minor league career, treated with the scrutiny that a celebrity mag reserves for Jennifer Aniston’s adventures in love, likely ended Thursday night, with a final tuneup in Las Vegas before Tuesday’s Mets debut in Atlanta. And guess what? For all the attention, we still have no idea who this young man is.

    Wheeler, who threw 85 pitches, and struck out seven while allowing just one hit (a solo homer) in 5.2 innings in an 11-0 loss to Tacoma on Thursday, is nearly as quiet with teammates and coaches as with media and fans. He repertoire is spectacular, but he remains a live-armed enigma in Metsland, much more so than Matt Harvey was one year ago.

    Harvey has always embraced the role of phenom and star, hanging out in Manhattan with Henrik Lundqvist, embracing the hype of matchups with Stephen Strasburg, Roy Halladay and the Yankees, and impressing coaches and teammates at every level with his drive.

    Wheeler, teammates and coaches say, is reserved and introverted, harder to read. Triple-A manager Wally Backman, who had to wait longer and work harder to build a relationship with Wheeler than he did with Harvey, offered words of support on Thursday, while noting the contrast.


    “They were two different individuals, but they’ve both got great stuff,” Backman said. “Harvey is a little more outspoken than Zack. Zack is a more laid-back type of guy...Harv was the guy who was in the office every day, saying ‘when am I going? When am I going?’ And good for him.”

    So Wheeler didn’t do that?

    “He has come in, but not every day,” Backman said. “He has loosened up. Zack is a good kid.”

    Asked on Thursday about all the hype and attention that will face him over the next several days, Wheeler said, “It’s part of the job. It’s part of baseball. You’re making your first big league start. Eventually you’re going to have to do it...You just go out there and concentrate on pitching.”

    Others in the organization, granted anonymity because of the radioactive nature of the subject, have formed a slightly different impression than Backman. One future teammate who observed Wheeler when the the kid was in big league camp this spring came away with concerns about his ability to handle attention and scrutiny in a large market.

    “He is going to have trouble in New York,” the player said, comparing Wheeler to another famously taciturn Met. “He might be even quieter than (Lucas) Duda.”

    Added a team official in a candid moment: “You know who he reminds me of? A.J. Burnett. Great arm, going to be good, but you wonder about the focus and makeup sometimes.”

    Other evaluators have noticed that too, observing that sometimes Wheeler will be cruising along in a dominant performance, then almost seem to glaze over, losing command and beginning to labor. Despite those observations, no one doubts Wheeler’s raw talent. His repertoire is better than Harvey’s was in Triple-A, with fastball about three-to-four miles per hour faster, and scouts have raised comparisons in the Strasburg and Justin Verlander category (a Met fan would probably prefer those to the Burnett comp).

    Still, the dynamic in the Harvey/Wheeler comparison has undergone a subtle shift in the past year. Twelve months ago, the Mets’ front office considered “Wheeler an ace, and Harvey a number two or three,” according to one team official. Now, it is unfair to expect Wheeler to outperform Harvey, who transformed himself into an instant sensation once he hit the major leagues, and is already pitching at an All-Star level.

    The complexity of interpreting Wheeler was never more evident than in a now-famous spring training incident, when he hit teammate Aderlin Rodriguez for pimping home run in a minor league intrasquad game. Most in the front office where livid with Wheeler, reprimanding him for what they saw as unprofessional conduct. A quieter minority were impressed by the mean streak, and believed that it spoke to his competitive nature.

    “I wondered about what kind of kid he was until that happened,” said one team official. “I liked that.”

    Said another: “I don’t think anyone was very happy with Zack for that.”

    So there you go. Understanding another human being is impossible, and depends on the beholder’s perceptions and values. Wheeler has his fans in the organization, and he has his detractors, but nearly everyone agrees on one point: He’s a difficult guy to know.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/bas...n-ny-mets-matt


    “Ninety percent I’ll spend on good times, women, and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent I’ll probably waste.”
    - Tug McGraw, on his plans for his $75,000 salary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Queens, NY
    Posts
    47,586
    vCash
    1500
    I could see the similarities between he and Burnett. But I think they are being too critical of his laid-back personality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, New York
    Posts
    6,776
    vCash
    1500
    The Dude would oblige.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    25,141
    vCash
    1500
    Martino is a tool, always trying to create stories.


    “Ninety percent I’ll spend on good times, women, and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent I’ll probably waste.”
    - Tug McGraw, on his plans for his $75,000 salary

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Queens, NY
    Posts
    47,586
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymation View Post
    Martino is a tool, always trying to create stories.
    Lol the funniest part was when he said Puello wasn't a prospect on Twitter last week. So many fans called him out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Brick, NJ
    Posts
    751
    vCash
    1500
    So, Wheeler being quiet is a story? Being patient makes him have less drive than Harvey? When the guy commented about hating Las Vegas he gets killed for being impatient. He is quiet and they imply that he's not driven. Just a bunch of non-sense. Lets wait til he gets to the majors and report on his pitching. That is something news worthy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    The Boogie Down
    Posts
    75,220
    vCash
    1500

    Zack Wheeler: A live-armed enigma

    Martini knows that to make a name for himself in my all he had to do is talk **** about the Mets as countless others have.

    And in typical NY media fashion this kid had not even thrown a pitch yet and somebody is talking about how he may not have the mental capability to handle NY.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    25,141
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by YoungStuna View Post
    Lol the funniest part was when he said Puello wasn't a prospect on Twitter last week. So many fans called him out.
    It's always something with Martino.


    “Ninety percent I’ll spend on good times, women, and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent I’ll probably waste.”
    - Tug McGraw, on his plans for his $75,000 salary

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Queens, NY
    Posts
    47,586
    vCash
    1500
    Tuesday can't come soon enough.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    25,141
    vCash
    1500
    Phase two starts Tuesday.
    I assume it will just Wheeler and d'Arnaud this season. With potential call ups for Montero, Puello and Flores.


    “Ninety percent I’ll spend on good times, women, and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent I’ll probably waste.”
    - Tug McGraw, on his plans for his $75,000 salary

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    4,157
    vCash
    1500
    Montero and Nasty Jack will pitch in September for the Mets if not sooner!
    " You seek Yoda!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    12,915
    vCash
    1500
    He does seem quiet in interviews. But who really cares?
    "We're snakebitten, baby." --Fred Wilpon

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    24,078
    vCash
    1500
    I love this! The future starts on Tuesday. And hopefully D'Arnaud is coming up soon.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Orlando
    Posts
    16,839
    vCash
    5000
    interesting perspectives on the A rod bean

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    697
    vCash
    1500
    Meh .. no need to shoot the messenger.

    What caught my attention in the piece was this bit: Added a team official in a candid moment: “You know who he reminds me of? A.J. Burnett. Great arm, going to be good, but you wonder about the focus and makeup sometimes.”

    Which goes to show that, while the Cardinals have their 'way', the Mets continue along their 'way'. One develops, nurtures and supports its young talent in its efforts to make them successful major leaguers. The other lets office a-holes snipe from the bushes at their own young talent just as they're being brought up to the bigs. What a ball club.

    As a side note, I like that Wheeler nailed Rodriguez for pimping. Mr. Wheeler is obviously NOT totally laid back. Looking forward to seeing him next week.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •