"I knew it was coming," Wheeler said of the July 28th deal. "The rumors kind of died off [for a bit], I woke up that morning, turned on ESPN, and I found out I was about to get traded. It was kind of a shock but I [also] knew it was coming. It was pretty cool."
What was perhaps the most ironic part of the whole situation and certainly the least publicized portion was how Wheeler, selected 6th overall in the 2009 MLB Draft and who had posted a 3.99 ERA over his first two seasons with the Giants, had made a major change to his game literally hours before the trade came to fruition.
"I had my ups and downs," he said of 2011 in general. "When I was with the Giants I was doing some stuff with my mechanics and my velocity was there, my location was there, my pitches were, but they weren't moving. My fastball wasn't moving so everybody was hitting it.
"And then two hours before I got traded I decided I was going back to my old mechanics that I had in high school and my walks went down tremendously, my strikeouts stayed the same, my ball was moving a lot more, and I still had the velocity."
While it was just six games, he shaved his ERA nearly in half down to 2.00 with the St. Lucie Mets. Behind the numbers though Wheeler was simply a lot more comfortable than he had ever been at the professional level.
"They had me going real slow through my wind-up," he said of the Giants. "It was just messing me up. I switched to my old [mechanics], brought back the high leg-kick, my hands are a little bit higher, and everything starts flowing together.
"It was hard for me to sit there and count through my mechanics and not have my arm drag because I'm long and lanky. I needed something to get me flowing that works."
The pitches were generating more movement, his velocity numbers never wavered, and the Mets did not want to mess with what was clearly working.
"They didn't even try to touch me [once I came over]. They told me ‘we're not going to mess with you, you're looking good, we like what we see so we're going to step back and watch."
Wheeler Returns To Old Form
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