Aside from a short stay on the COVID roster in May, Wheeler has remained on the active roster since signing with Philadelphia in the 2020 season. While any mention of forearm discomfort for the bowler is an eyebrow raised, the Phils don’t appear to be particularly concerned. Chief of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters that Wheeler was willing to fix the problem, but the club hoped that by skipping two starts, he could put them in the rearview mirror (via Alex Covey of the Philadelphia Inquirer And the Todd Zoelecki of MLB.com).
Last year, Wheeler, runner-up at NL Cy Young, has remained a pivotal part of the Junior Five this season. With 23 starts, he owns a 3.07 ERA with a strike rate of 26.7%. Right-hander production isn’t quite as high as it was last year, but it ranks among the top 30 throwers (minimum 100 rounds) in the ERA and strike ratio. Any dip in performance is primarily attributable to this month, with Wheeler having a 4.44 ERA over his past four starts after holding the 2.77 mark in August.
Walther looks likely to bridge the pair’s spinning gap during the spin, with the hope that Wheeler will return in full force for the final month of the season. The Phillies were one of baseball’s most exciting teams, and they hold a record 69 to 55 in play tonight. Philadelphia holds the second place in the National League Wild Card game, holding onto the game’s 3 1/2 cushion over the Brewers (with Padres between the two clubs).
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