MIAMI — With a tweaked arm action and one minor-league start on his 2018 ledger, Zack Wheeler is back in the majors. He’ll face the Marlins Wednesday night as the Mets use a fifth starter for the first time.
Wheeler didn’t think it would happen this quickly.
“Honestly, no,” he said. “But stuff happens and I’m grateful to be up here.”
“Stuff,” in this case, was an indefinite conversion to relief for Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman, plus Wheeler’s strong five-inning outing for Las Vegas last week.
Wheeler said in the minors he focused on changing his arm action — from dropping down behind him to pulling it straight out and up — which puts less stress on his arm. He was working on that throughout spring training, but it was a process that sped up when he focused on it more, not caring about results, upon being demoted to minor-league camp.
“I’m getting more comfortable with that the more reps I get,” Wheeler said. “It’s hard because you’ve been doing something for so long, it’s muscle memory to drop back down. That’s what was going on during spring training. That’s why I was so inconsistent during the games.”