Impact News: New York Mets breakout young pitching star, Zack Wheeler will miss all of 2015 undergoing tommy John surgery. Yet another in the long line of young arms to undergo the surgery.
Short Term Impact: The New York Mets will take a hit losing Wheeler for the season but this does not take them out of playoff contention. The Mets, under general manager Sandy Alderson, have built a stockpile of quality arms. Next man up will be the case in 2015. The Mets already have the return of ace Matt Harvey, 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom, Jon Niese, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, Noah Syndergaard and other talented prospects to get the job done.
Long Term Prediction: Tommy John surgery is becoming more and more frequent but could this be because the surgery is so successful now. You have to look no further than the Mets ace Matt Harvey who is returning from this very same surgery. That bodes well for Wheeler, who at such a young age, has a lot of miles still left on his tires.
But with a chance for other prospects to excel in his absence, will Wheeler be on the trading block during the next off-season? Teams had inquired about him this last off-season but the Mets knew the physical would damn any trade. If he recovers he could be moved. That is exactly how I believe this will unfold. Look for teams like the Baltimore Orioles (who can never seem to land the high-dollar arm), the Chicago Cubs and possibly the ironically injury prone New York Yankees to check in on Wheeler.
For the Mets, the season has less room for error but let’s face it, they were probably not going to challenge the Washington Nationals for the NL East crown before Wheeler went down. They are in the wildcard discussion though. For the Mets it will not be about the pitching in 2015, it will be about offensive production. Can Lucas Duda, Travis d’Arnaud and other youngsters take the needed step forward to contend? We will see but it will not be the fault of Zack Wheeler if they miss the 2015 playoffs.