"He's a young guys with really good stuff. You know, he has major league pitches. He just has to get command on all his pitches," pitching coach Glenn Abbott said. "This stuff takes time. He just has to go out there and get better."
"He has good secondary pitches, but his fastball command needs to improve. If he gets those first pitch strikes he will be better and more effective," manager Pedro Lopez said. "He's a great addition to our ball club, but in order to pitch in the big leagues he has to command more of his pitches."
Wheeler spent the offseason exercising and gained an additional five pounds in muscle. He concentrated on locating his changeup and offspeed pitches overall.
Although he did not get in as much pitching time during Spring Training as he would have liked due to an ankle sprain, Wheeler thinks Spring Training went well. When he did have the opportunity to pitch, Wheeler was impressed with the frequent number of strikes thrown.
But the 6-foot-4 pitcher did pick up on certain skills he could improve on.
"I have to be more consistent with the offspeed pitches and locating them. That's how I'm going to be more successful," Wheeler said. "I also have to get ahead with the first pitch strike."
The Georgia-native will also have to adjust to the cold weather that sometimes falls upon Binghamton, which was a factor during his first outing.
"He did a good job during his first outing. He's never pitched in this weather before, and it was something he had to adjust to," Lopez said. "But he did do a good job."
"I think the first outing went alright. The results weren't really there but I felt that I played well," Wheeler said. "The weather also wasn't really good. I had to get into the routine of licking my fingers and things like that. It was a learning experience."
Wheeler said he could have gotten ahead in the count more. "Every first pitch was a ball and that hurt me. I have to get those first pitch strikes," he said.
Abbott said his pitching was less erratic during his first outing. As opposed to being high and all over the place, they were down low and more refined. "He wasn't missing bad," Abbott said.
Lopez and Abbott expect Wheeler to improve his command and to move quickly through the Binghamton Mets.
"He's a sharp kid and he's smart. I'm expecting him to make adjustments quick, and even get a promotion too," Lopez said.
"His stuff is good enough. If he gets those balls into the strike zone, he could move quick," Abbott said.
Wheeler Working On Command
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