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Mets’ Zack Wheeler Set To Make Return To The Mound On Friday

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It has certainly been a long road to recovery for New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler. On Friday, he will finally make his return to the mound.

Wheeler, 26, is set to start for the Mets when they take on the Houston Astros in Port St. Lucie on Friday afternoon. Even though this is just a spring training game, it will be a very significant moment for him.

The last time Wheeler made a start for the Mets was September 25, 2014. In March of 2015, he was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Later that month, he underwent Tommy John surgery to repair the torn ligament. He has spent the last two seasons recovering from the surgery.

Originally, Wheeler was scheduled to return sometime in the middle of the 2016 season. However, he suffered a setback in his rehab program when he was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his right arm. This happened in August. Ultimately, the Mets decided to shut down Wheeler for the rest of the season. They opted to play it safe, even though the flexor strain was considered mild.

It is undoubtedly frustrating for a pitcher to be forced to sit out for two full seasons because of an injury. Wheeler will now finally have the chance to return to the hill. Friday’s start will be his first chance to show the Mets that he is healthy and ready to go for the 2017 season. Earlier in spring training, Mets manager Terry Collins stated that their would be an “open competition” between Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman for the fifth starter spot in the rotation. Lugo and Gsellman both pitched well last season while filling in for the injured players in the Mets starting rotation. Wheeler is going to have be impressive over the next few weeks in order to be named the fifth starter.      

If Wheeler is able to earn a starting spot in the rotation, it will be interesting to see how he fares. Originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft, he was traded to the Mets in exchange for outfielder Carlos Beltran in 2011. He showed plenty of potential before needing to have Tommy John surgery. In 2014, his first full season with the Mets, Wheeler went 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA. He made 32 starts that year and recorded 187 strikeouts in 185.1 innings pitched.

It will be nice for Mets fans to see Wheeler on the mound on the mound once again. We will see how he does in his first start for the team since the surgery.

Aspring sports broadcaster/writer. Freshman Television-Radio major at Ithaca College. Die-hard Mets, Giants, Nets, and Devils fan.

Chicago Cubs

MLB Investigating Racist Social Media Messages Sent to Cubs’ Carl Edwards Jr.

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Major League Baseball is investigating racial messages sent, via social media, to Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. prior to his demotion to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs back on April 6th.

According to The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney, the messages have caught the attention of both the Cubs and the MLB Players Association, leading to the launch of the investigation.

Mooney had been a solid bullpen option during the last few seasons, but had a nightmare start to the 2019 season posting a terrible 32.40 ERA in just 1.2 innings of work over four appearances.

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MLB

Carlos Zambrano Attempting Comeback, Signs with Indy Team

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Former MLB pitcher Carlos Zambrano is attempting a comeback and has signed with the American Association’s Chicago Dogs, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer.

Zambrano last pitched in the majors back in 2012 with the Miami Marlins, but earlier in his career he finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting in the National League three times as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

Zambrano started his comeback bid last fall when he took the mound for 7 starts in the Mexican League, pitching to the tune of a 5.18 ERA, and performing even worse during a short stint in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Given his recent lack of production, it is a longshot to believe that Zambrano will return to the MLB level, but stranger things have happened.

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MLB

VIDEO: Giants’ CEO Larry Baer Knocks Down Wife During Argument

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A video has surfaced showing San Francisco Giants team president and CEO Larry Baer knocking his wife to the ground during a fight over a cellphone, published on TMZ.

You can see the video below.

Baer has acknowledged the incident, saying; “My wife and I had an unfortunate public argument related to a family member and she had an injured foot and she fell off her chair in the course of the argument,” Baer said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“The matter is resolved. It was a squabble over a cellphone. Obviously it’s embarrassing.”

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