New York Daily News
Zack set to take hill
PORT ST. LUCIE — The Mets are ready to let Zack Wheeler take the next step. The right-hander who is 11 months into his rehab from Tommy John surgery will climb back up on the mound for the first time by the end of the week.
“That is how it is scheduled,” pitching coach Dan Warthen said Monday morning. “As long as everything keeps going as well as it has been that’s what we expect.”
A team source said they were aiming for Saturday to start working Wheeler back on the mound. He had initially hoped to be throwing off the mound early last month, but after a meeting with team doctors and rehab coordinators the Mets decided to slow him down. The team feels strongly that g ivi ng Mat t Harvey extra time to come back f rom t he surgery really helped him have a successful season in 2015 and want to give Wheeler the same chance.
“He’s fine, but he isn’t scheduled to come back until July, “Mets manager Terry Collins said, “so there was no reason to push him. Let’s just take our time.”
SOMETHING TO PROVE
Rafael Montero frustrated the Mets last season with the shoulder discomfort which kept him out most of the season, but the young righthander comes into camp feeling healthy and ready to prove himself again.
“Unfortunately there was nothing that could be done and I’m now healthy and ready to get back at it,” Montero said Monday through an interpreter. “I think it’s something that can happen to any pitcher just like anyone I couldn’t tell you it’s a specific thing I just kind of felt it one day and that’s it.”
Montero was once considered one of the Mets’ top pitching prospects, but with the injury causing him to miss most of last season and struggling to a 4.14 ERA in 15 appearances in the big leagues, he needs to reassure the team he can pitch effectively. He also wants to show he is willing to pitch out of the bullpen or as a spot starter.
“Of course I do and that’s why I’m here to prove to them I can do this job,” said Montero, who had a successful winter playing in the Dominican Republic. “I feel comfortable wherever they put me because that’s the ultimate goal here to be utilized by the team in whatever role they give me.”
As part of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the 1986 World Championship this season, the Mets will wear the 1986 replica pinstriped jerseys with the orange-blue-orange stripe on the shoulders for all Sunday games at Citi Field.
The Mets will also honor the 1986 team Memorial Weekend with the players and manager Davey Johnson invited back for a ceremony before the May 28th game. ... The Mets will host a clinic for 100 Special Olympic athletes Sunday at their spring training complex.