Sandy Alderson defends his usage of Zach Wheeler

Baseball Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was quick to defend his team's usage of pitcher Zack Wheeler on Tuesday, despite the right-hander having "chronic pain" in his elbowWheeler seems destined for season-ending Tommy John surgery for a torn UCL in his right elbow. He's set to meet with at least one orthopedist this week, and may meet with Dr. James Andrews as well. “Let me just ask this question,” Alderson said, via the New York Post. “Why would we treat somebody like (Matt) Harvey with the kind of caution that we did and then throw somebody else under the bus? Somebody of essentially equal value to us as an organization? That wouldn’t make any sense.”Harvey burst onto the scene in 2013, but was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in October of that year. The Mets have been very cautious with their young ace, who chafed at being held back in his rehab last season. “When a guy is being managed, you understand what the sort of apocalyptic result can be. OK? He blows something out,” Alderson said. “But the question is, what’s the alternative? If it blows out, it blows out. The alternative is that you manage somebody to the point where he’s not useful to you.“So it’s the proverbial, ‘You can’t hurt it anymore,’ or in the case of the ligament, it’s already implicated because of the tendinitis in the tendon. And so then the question is, ‘OK, was the tear inevitable, or is this a function of how he was used?’ From my standpoint, it’s inevitable given the practicality of how someone is used in the course of

a major league season.”Last season, Wheeler made 32 starts with an 11-11 record. He had a 3.54 ERA and 187 strikeouts in a career-high 185 1/3 innings.

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