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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Articles tagged: Zack Wheeler

Baseball fans have 1 big complaint about NL Cy Young Award

Corbin Burnes

Few would dispute that Corbin Burnes had a fantastic season for the Milwaukee Brewers, but there are a number of people unhappy that he claimed the NL Cy Young Award.

Many fans were upset to see Burnes beat out Philadelphia Phillies ace Zack Wheeler for the NL’s top pitching honor. The biggest argument was that Wheeler’s body of work was much larger than Burnes’.

The Brewers ace threw only 167 innings in the regular season, qualifying for the NL ERA title by only five innings. Though Wheeler’s ERA was higher — 2.78 to Burnes’ 2.43 — Wheeler pitched 213.1 innings, nearly 50 more than Burnes.

The point about Wheeler pitching more innings was argued by many on Twitter, including ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Burnes and Wheeler actually got 12 first-places votes each, while Max Scherzer claimed the other six. Where Burnes had the edge was he was either first or second on most ballots (26 of 30), while many voters had Wheeler third or even fourth. That gave Burnes (151) more total points than Wheeler (141).

The voting shows there was ample support for Burnes. The Brewers ace’s FIP, a popular metric among the stats-oriented crowd, was a miniscule 1.63, significantly lower than Wheeler’s 2.59. That, in the eyes of many voters, made up for the fact that Burnes threw 46.1 fewer innings than Wheeler did.

If Wheeler feels snubbed, we may well hear about it. He hasn’t been shy about blunt public criticism before.

Zack Wheeler matched impressive Roy Halladay feat on jersey retirement day

Zack Wheeler

The Philadelphia Phillies retired Roy Halladay’s jersey number on Sunday, and Zack Wheeler turned out to be the perfect pitcher to pay tribute.

Wheeler dominated the New York Mets, his former team, with a two-hit shutout on Sunday. He struck out 11 in a performance that would have made Halladay proud. There was even a link to Halladay. At one point, Wheeler retired 22 consecutive hitters. No Phillies pitcher has done that since Halladay, who accomplished it as part of his perfect game 11 years ago.

On one hand, it speaks to how much the Phillies have struggled since their window of contention first closed after 2011. On the other hand, it worked out in a really cool way. Obviously Wheeler didn’t go out with the aim of matching Halladay’s feats, but it just worked out that way on Sunday.

Given Wheeler’s feelings toward the Mets, he probably had some added motivation for this start as well. Clearly it paid off.

Zack Wheeler to miss upcoming start due to freak injury

Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler has had an excellent first season with the Philadelphia Phillies thus far, but the right-hander is going to miss some time after he had a little accident while putting on a pair of pants.

Phillies manager Joe Girardi announced on Thursday that Wheeler has been scratched from his scheduled start against the Miami Marlins on Saturday. A nail on Wheeler’s pitching hand is said to be “very sore” after he got it caught while putting on his pants.

The Phillies signed Wheeler to a five-year, $118 million deal this past offseason. He has been worth the money thus far, compiling a 4-0 record with a team-best 2.47 ERA. The injury doesn’t sound like anything too serious, but the Phillies are comfortably in the playoff picture at the moment and will likely play it safe.

Wheeler is not the first MLB pitcher to suffer an extremely bizarre hand injury this year, but the last guy had to undergo surgery. Hopefully Wheeler’s recovery is much quicker.

5 MLB players in line for a big season

Bo Bichette

Sometimes you can tell which MLB players are poised for a big season. Sometimes, the hints lie in the previous season’s performance — while the overall numbers may be underwhelming, there can be a huge surge in production for the latter part of the season. Sometimes, they’re returning from injury, or got a badly-needed change of scenery.

Whatever the reason, there are definitely some MLB players poised to have a big year. Here are five worth keeping an eye on.


Mets GM ‘disappointed’ by Zack Wheeler’s comments

New York Mets

New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is responding to some recent comments made by former pitcher Zack Wheeler.

Van Wagenen told Tim Healey of Newsday on Friday that he was “surprised” and “disappointed” by Wheeler’s pointed remarks towards the team.

“[We] helped him parlay 2 good half-seasons over the last 5 years into a $118 million,” said Van Wagenen. “I’m proud of what our group was able to help him accomplish. I’m happy he was rewarded for it.”

Van Wagenen is referring to the lucrative deal that Wheeler signed with the division rival Philadelphia Phillies this winter after spending his entire MLB career with the Mets.

The 30-year-old righty had made some disparaging comments about the team earlier this week for their handling of his free agency, and Van Wagenen does not seem to think that they were particularly merited.

Zack Wheeler takes shot at Mets over handling of his free agency

Zack Wheeler is free to speak his mind now that he is no longer a member of the New York Mets.

Speaking with Greg Joyce of the New York Post on Thursday, the veteran right-hander took a shot at the team over their handling of his free agency, saying that he never heard back from them last December before signing his new contract. Wheeler also added that he was not surprised by it.

“Because it’s them,” said Wheeler. “It’s how they roll.”

Wheeler, who instead signed a five-year, $119 million deal with the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies, had been with the Mets for his entire MLB career.

Another Mets starter appeared none too pleased with the team last season, and it is obvious that they have some deep organizational issues to address.

Report: Zack Wheeler turned down more money from White Sox to sign with Phillies

Zack Wheeler is getting an impressive sum of money from the Phillies, but reportedly left some cash on the table in order to sign with the team.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Wheeler turned down more money from the Chicago White Sox than the $118 million he got from Philadelphia. His desire to stay close to his wife’s New Jersey home was apparently a major factor in his decision to sign with the Phillies.

We can take a couple things from this. First, the Phillies had a huge inherent advantage geographically that allowed them to land Wheeler at something of a discount. With that in mind, it’s hard to see anyone else as having a great chance unless they blew Philadelphia’s offer out of the water financially.

Second, the White Sox are serious. They’ve already brought in catcher Yasmani Grandal, and the fact that they were willing to go big in a Wheeler deal suggests that they want to take a big step forward in 2020. Some of the trades they’ve reportedly discussed also bear that out.

Zack Wheeler agrees to five-year deal with Phillies

The market for Zack Wheeler has been sizzling since the start of free agency, and as expected the right-hander has turned that into a massive contract.

Wheeler has agreed to a five-year, $118 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Rosenthal’s colleague Marc Carig was the first to share the news of the sides coming to an agreement.

Wheeler is still just 29 and has put up solid numbers throughout his career, but he had a 3.96 ERA last year with the New York Mets and has a career ERA of 3.77. Those aren’t exactly ace numbers, but starting pitchers are in extremely high demand this offseason, and Wheeler was able to take advantage of that.

The Phillies badly needed starting pitching after an extremely disappointing season last year, so Wheeler should give them a nice boost in that department. It would not be a surprise if they added another big piece to their rotation before the winter is over.

Wheeler, who went 11-8 with 195 strikeouts in 31 total starts last season, was also being heavily pursued by the Chicago White Sox. They were believed to be the highest bidder as of less than two weeks ago, but Wheeler ultimately settled on Philly.

Report: Zack Wheeler likely to get upwards of $100 million in free agency

If you want an indication of just how significant the free agent market could be for pitchers this winter, you need only look at the rumors surrounding the potential price tag of second-tier starter Zack Wheeler.

According to Dan Hayes of The Athletic, Wheeler could be in line for a deal in the neighborhood of five years and upwards of $100 million in what is said to be a “crazy” market for pitching.

Wheeler is a perfectly good pitcher. He put up a 3.96 ERA for the Mets last year and has a career 3.77 mark, with injuries proving his major issue. He’s also still just 29 years old, so he’s signing for the remainder of his prime. Still, it’s a sign that someone with legitimate concerns like Wheeler is in line for a nine-figure deal that this could be a fairly wild free agent market for pitching. It checks out with what we’re hearing about the best available starters as well.

Report: White Sox are currently highest bidders for Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler is a hot-ticket item this offseason, and one club in particular appears to have pulled ahead in the race for his services, at least for now.

Baseball writer Tim Ryder reported on Saturday that the Chicago White Sox are currently the highest bidders for the veteran righty.

Wheeler, 29, is coming off a solid season for the New York Mets where he went 11-8 with a 3.96 ERA and 195 strikeouts in 31 total starts. He is one of the top pitchers on the free agent market this winter along with Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner, and other quality rotation arms.

The White Sox, who went 72-89 last year, already opened up their checkbook earlier this week, and it looks like they may continue to be generous with their money over the next few weeks and months of free agency.