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New York Mets likely to miss out on their top pitcher Zach Wheeler

New York Mets likely to miss out on their top pitcher Zach Wheeler

Zach Wheeler has been diagnosed with a full tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair it.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Wheeler, 24, has a complete tear, all but guaranteeing that he'll need elbow-replacement surgery and miss the season.

Alderson said the team was warned by doctors in January that Wheeler's elbow was a concern and was going to have to be managed this season.

It wasn't clear that the ligament was involved at that time, but we understood that we were going to have to manage his medical condition over the course of this season, Alderson said. When he complained of the elbow pain, it wasn't a surprise to us. What prompted the MRI on Saturday was, Zack had complained about the elbow in the past, but the area of pain had increased in size.

It's a blow, but at the same time we knew there would be a lot of uncertainty surrounding Zack and his elbow over the course of the season, Alderson said during a telephone conference call. We're obviously not happy he won't be with us.

Right now, we came into spring training with a number of guys that gave us some real security with starters and all of a sudden now we re getting a little thin, Mets manager Terry Collins said.

We ve still got three weeks, Collins said of spring training. There could be something else where all of a sudden we re just going to put one in the rotation.

Now, Mets' top prospect Noah Syndergaard is closer to getting call to big leagues.

We like Noah a lot, Terry Collins said. He s going to be a real good pitcher. There s going to be a time when we re going to have some hard-throwing guys in the middle of that rotation.

When we get toward the end, there s going to be some discussions we ll have with Noah about what we think he s got to do to be in the mix, Collins said. If you get sent down, you ve got to pitch your way out of it.

New York Mets likely to miss out on their top pitcher Zach Wheeler

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