Zack Wheeler, who suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in March and underwent Tommy John surgery that month, said in an interview that he's eyeing a June 2016 return. That would mean that Wheeler, who would be out of baseball for 15 months, would miss only a few months of the 2016 regular season.
More importantly, it means that Wheeler would be able to return to the Mets as a valuable fifth starter for most of the season, likely without facing the "magic" number of 180 innings, which some doctors (and agent Scott Boras) say is the recommended limit for pitchers returning for the risky surgery. It was originally believed that he'd return around the 2016 All-Star break.
Three of the Mets' four postseason starters have had Tommy John surgery in their career—only Noah Syndergaard has avoided the knife. Overall, a quarter of major league pitchers have had the surgery, according to MLB.com.
Since being called up in 2013, Wheeler has made 49 career starts, posting an 18-16 record with a 3.50 ERA and a FIP of 3.77. He has also struck out 8.5 batters per nine innings while walking a shade under four.