Originally written on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 4/5/13
New York Mets top pitching prospect, Zack Wheeler made his Triple-A debut on Thursday evening, lasting just 3 1/3 innings, surrounding two earned runs on three hits and three walks while striking out three.  Wheeler, who did not factor in the decision, struggled with his command walking three of the first six batters he faced: #bbpBox_320000826863124481 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_320000826863124481 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Zack Wheeler strikes out Jemile Weeks on three pitches to open bottom of 1st. about 14 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin Although Vegas had the early 2-1 lead, Wheeler needed 55 pitches to get through two frames: #bbpBox_320008859987083264 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_320008859987083264 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Zack Wheeler 55 pitches through 2 innings. Has allowed one run on one hit, three walks and a wild pitch. Vegas leads 2-1. about 14 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin Wheeler continued to struggle into the third, allowing a run on two hits and a wild pitch during the frame: #bbpBox_320015782903967744 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_320015782903967744 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Zack Wheeler through three innings. 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP. 79 pitches. Vegas leads, 4-2. about 13 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin Wheeler’s night came to an end after 86 pitches and one out in the fourth: #bbpBox_320018469867368449 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_320018469867368449 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Zack Wheeler done after 86 pitches. 3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP. Vegas leading 4-2. about 13 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin On the bright side, fellow prospects Travis d’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores combined to go 5-6 with 4 runs and 3 RBI between them as the 51′s downed Sacramento to win their season opener. There’s little doubt that Wheeler could have some success at the big league level right now, but outings like this also suggest that a little seasoning in the Triple-A rotation won’t hurt.  Still, as Jorge Castillo pointed out in his column for the Star-Ledger, the decision to start the 22-year-old in Las Vegas despite the big-league starting rotation’s injury troubles, has an economic component to it: Photo by Michael G. Baron If Wheeler were called up before April 20, he would become a free agent after the 2018 season instead of 2019. If Wheeler is called up later in the season then the Mets would also likely avoid starting his arbitration clock this season, thus avoiding “Super-2″ status.
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