The Mets have announced their first round of cuts from major league spring training, and Zack Wheeler headlines the group. Joining Wheeler on the short trip from major league camp to minor league camp are: Cesar Puello, Hansel Robles, Collin McHugh, Darin Gorski, Reese Havens, Juan Lagares, Wilfredo Tovar, Gonzalez Germen, and Elvin Ramirez. All ten players are on the Mets' 40-man roster, at least for now.
Despite his elite prospect status and strong performance early in spring training, Wheeler wasn't expected to make the Mets' Opening Day roster. Still just 22 years old, Wheeler had two things working against him: service time rules that often delay a player's major league debut and his relatively short track record at Triple-A.
Last year, Wheeler posted a 3.26 ERA and 2.80 FIP in 116.0 innings at Double-A before graduating to Triple-A, where he threw 33.0 innings with a 3.27 ERA and 3.65 FIP. The Mets are looking for Wheeler to improve his walk rate, which was relatively high last year, and further develop his changeup. Still, he should join the team in the near future, perhaps around his twenty-third birthday on May 30.