Zack Wheeler set to debut at Citi Field on Sunday

Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler delivers during the Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler delivers during the first inning of an interleague baseball game against the Chicago White Sox. (June 25, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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DENVER - After two road starts, Zack Wheeler will make his Citi Field debut on Sunday against the Nationals. So what is he feeling as the big day approaches?

"Nothing, really," Wheeler said Thursday night. "I mean, obviously your home park, back in New York, but it's just going to be another game."

Mets fans probably are a little more excited than Wheeler will admit to being. They will get to see him in person for the first time.

Wheeler will throw his first bullpen session at Citi Field Friday after spending the pregame hours Thursday working with pitching coach Dan Warthen on hiding the ball better. The Mets admitted he did tip his pitches in his second start in Chicago against the White Sox.

Warthen said he had Wheeler work on "dry mechanics" -- simulating the pitching motion.

"Couple of things we wanted him to do," Warthen said. "Open up his glove so he can hide his pitches a little more . . . We tried to rectify that [tipping] situation. Nothing more than that."

Said Wheeler: "I don't necessarily think it's a big habit. I don't think it's that big of a deal. But we're going to change it up a little bit. Try some new things and see how it goes."

 

Terry's short take

Omar Quintanilla has played so well that the injured Ruben Tejada is not going to just be handed the shortstop job when he returns from the disabled list, manager Terry Collins said.

"Based on what we've seen right now, Ruben's got to go earn it back," Collins said. "He's got to go play. He's got to get his game together. He's got to get himself in good, top shape. We know he can. But there's no reason why we're going to take this kid [Quintanilla] out of the lineup."

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