In a world where a different injury seems to happen every day, Mets fans will have to endure another one. The club announced early on Wednesday evening that Zack Wheeler, who was doing a good job rebounding from his 2015 Tommy John surgery before getting lit up during two recent starts, is headed to the disabled list with biceps tendinitis in order to make room on the 25-man roster for Tyler Pill.
We already knew that Pill would get a spot start on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, but this corresponding move comes as something of a surprise. Maybe there is something wrong with Wheeler’s arm, or maybe the Mets just think he can use a break after allowing 15 runs over his last two outings, neither of which lasted longer than two innings. It’s not as though Wheeler was going to reach 200 innings after sitting out all of 2016, so sitting him down isn’t going to hurt. Since Wheeler last pitched on June 19, he’ll be able to come off the DL on June 30, which could mean just one missed turn in the rotation.
Whether or not Wheeler is activated after just 10 days may depend on the performance of Pill, who has been great at Triple-A Las Vegas this year despite not missing many bats. In the majors, he’s made two starts and two relief appearances that have resulted in seven runs (five earned) allowed over 12 innings.
Pill won’t be the only pitcher getting promoted on Wednesday. Erik Goeddel is headed to the majors for the first time in 2017 in order to give the bullpen a lift. Although he’s got a 6.67 ERA in 29.2 frames at Las Vegas this season, that ugly number has been steadily dropping since a disastrous April. Perhaps placing Goeddel in a more pitcher-friendly environment will help him get back to where he was in 2015, when he had a 2.43 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 33.1 major league innings.
To make room for Goeddel, Matt Reynolds is being demoted to Triple-A. The Arkansas product is useful because he can play a variety of positions, but he was only hitting .185/.267/.296 in 30 plate appearances. The pitcher-for-shortstop swap means that Gavin Cecchini is the only infielder on New York’s four-man bench. He just hit his first big league home run on Monday night and could get a chance to start if Jose Reyes or T.J. Rivera fail to produce up the middle.