Thursday, June 06, 2013

Should the Mets Call Up Zack Wheeler?

Given the incredible success of Matt Harvey, and the complete lack of success of every other player the Mets have called up from the minor leagues in the past 5 years, Mets fans are dying for Zack Wheeler, the player acquired for Carlos Beltran, to come up and dominate like Matt Harvey is doing.
But they should wait. Just a couple more months. Three reasons why the Mets should wait to bring him up.

1) Performance
Wheeler is not dominating in the minor leagues. He's 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 58 1/3 innings. His FIP is even higher meaning he's benefiting slightly from good defense. He's striking out 9.1 batters per 9 innings which is excellent. He's allowing 1.23 homers per 9 innings which is horrible. But the smaller ballparks and thinner air of the Pacific Coast League are certainly contributing to that and he would surely find CitiField to be a friendlier place to pitch. But his walk rate of 3.76/9 innings is also too high and that has been consistently high his entire minor league career no matter where he's pitched. It's pretty likely he will always be that way, but the point is, he is not dominating the minor leagues to the point where an immediate call-up is necessary.
2) Reality
The Mets stink. There is no reason to rush a player to the major leagues in the middle of another disastrously bad season. No reason to subject him to the bad defense and anemic offense that is holding Matt Harvey's win total at 5, despite the excellent season he is having.

Since Wheeler can't help the Mets win (enough), and he's not blowing away the competition in the minors, the Mets should wait to bring him up.

Wait until when?

July 6th.

3) Money
If the Mets bring up Zack Wheeler now, after his second full season in the majors (2015) he would likely be eligible for arbitration under a rule called "Super-2." Most players aren't arbitration eligible until after their third full season, except for Super-2s. How do you become a Super-2? By being in the top 22% of players in your class, but you must also have at last 86 days of service, which he couldn't get if he's called up on July 6th.

I know some of you are turning up your noses at my suggestion that the Mets use the tactics favored by small-market teams like the Rays and the A's, when they play in the largest market in the country.

Look at it this way, if the Mets bring him up in the next 30 days, they will likely have to pay him a much higher salary in 2016 than they would if they keep him down. So they would be trading whatever performance he's going to deliver in 5 or 6 starts in the middle of this dreadful season for millions of dollars down the line, if he has the career we hope he will.

If you would still call him up now, you are thinking with your heart and not your head. And that type of thinking dug the hole the Mets are still trying to escape from.

I think we can wait one more month to get Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey back together at CitiField

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Song of the Week

"Turn on the Lights" - Future
You may not like this song but at least the cat has a different style, which I find interesting.