Top Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler will reportedly debut next Friday

USA TODAY Sports

New York's top pitching prospect will make one more start for Las Vegas tonight before setting his sights on the big leagues.

The long wait is finally over, and Zack Wheeler is just one week away from starting a game in the major leagues, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Wheeler would face the Cubs at Citi Field on June 14, but the date is not yet finalized because potential rainouts—like tonight's game—could force the Mets to move players around in the rotation.

Most important, the Mets kept Wheeler in the minor leagues until after the Super Two deadline, which means he won't be eligible for arbitration until after the 2016 season. No matter what Wheeler hits free agency in 2019, but the Mets now may be able to save a lot of money if their star prospect is as good as advertised.

When Wheeler is called up, someone will be sent down. Over the past few weeks we presumed that Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner were battling for the roster spot. But in the short term the Mets may need to keep both pitchers on the roster for the June 18 doubleheader in Atlanta.

Furthering the dilemma, both Hefner and Gee have pitched really well lately. Hefner's gem on Tuesday against the Nationals capped off a run of three straight quality starts. Gee has 19 strikeouts and two walks in his last pair of starts.

Wheeler hasn't blown anybody away in Triple-A, but he has done quite well for himself considering the tough pitching environments of the Pacific Coast League. After six innings of one-run ball last Saturday, Wheeler has 59 strikeouts, 24 walks, and a 3.86 earned run average for the season.

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