The Brewers reportedly sent the perpetually smiling, sometimes angry, Carlos Gomez to the Mets today in exchange for injured starting pitcher Zack Wheeler and 23 year-old infielder Wilmer Flores. The Brewers will have 4.5 years of control over each player, while Gomez has just a year and a half until Scott Boras cashes in on a monster free agent contract.
So, what should Brewers fans expect from their new Starter?
Wheeler has electric stuff. He throws his 95 mph fastball roughly two thirds of the time (50% 4-seamer, 20% 2-seamer). He also mixes in a quality slider and curve. His arsenal causes A LOT of whiffs, as he can maintain a nearly double-digit K:9. However, walks have been an issue for him. His control has improved since being drafted, but he still walks well over 3 batters per 9 innings, and until he can figure this out, he’ll top out as an above average, but middle of the rotation starter. If we dig a little deeper, we’ll see that his struggles are almost exclusive to left-handed batters.
Wheeler dominates righties. This is good because there are more right-handed batters than left-handed batters. Right-handers have posted just a .281 wOBA against Wheeler. His walk rate is a respectable 6.9% against RHB. However, when he faces lefties, those numbers explode. His walk rate more than doubles, to 13.9% against LHB. Lefties have posted a .336 wOBA against him for his young major league car- What’s that?
Oh. Well, nevermind then. Carry on.