While Zack Wheeler keeps saying he is treating his Citi Field debut Sunday as "just another start," even he knows that's downplaying the obvious.
"It's going to be a big game," Wheeler said Friday during his first visit to the Mets' home clubhouse as a major-leaguer. "I'm going to be here for a lot of years to come. This is going to be my home. Hopefully, I can go out there and do well."
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Mets manager Terry Collins expects a "buzz" in the ballpark, much like the days Matt Harvey pitches. Wheeler said his family will be on hand.
Wheeler will attempt to execute the changes he has made to keep from tipping his pitches. Pitching coach Dan Warthen has said he's been working to get Wheeler to open his glove more, but Wheeler didn't want to tip his hand on how he did in the bullpen Friday. "I think I'm just going to keep that between us out there," he said.
Brandon Nimmo, the Mets' 2011 first-round pick, is a finalist for the last roster spot in the Futures Game next month at Citi Field as part of the All-Star Game festivities. The last spot will be decided by a fan vote at mlb.com/futuresfinalists
Nimmo said he would like Mets fans' votes so he can come to the stadium he hopes will be his home one day and "get to know the fans, to be around them and to have them see me."
At Class-A Savannah this season, Nimmo, 20, was hitting .274 with a .378 on-base percentage and a .374 slugging percentage in 49 games entering Friday night. "Hitting-wise, I think I've shown I can be pretty dominant at this level," he said, "and that I can have some rough days, too."
Tim Hardaway Jr., the Knicks' first-round pick Thursday, took batting practice against hitting coach Dave Hudgens before the game. Hardaway's father watched.