Zack Wheeler is the undisputed ace of the Phillies’ staff. The hard-throwing, sharp-slidering righty has been of the Phillies’ best free-agent signings to date, and has now been rewarded with an NL Player of the Month award.
In his tenure with the Phillies, he has a 2.87 ERA in 52 games pitched with a 9.6 K/9. He’s been nothing but brilliant…except for a moment.
Wheeler didn’t play in Spring Training. His April start to the season was terrible but for good reason. In 4 games, Wheeler had a 5.79 ERA. That’s all changed as Spring changes to summer.
Wheeler’s follow-up in May has apparently landed him the NL Pitcher of the Month award.
During a 2 PM Phillies press conference to address the firing of manager Joe Girardi, the Phillies’ president of baseball operations apparently let it slip that Zack Wheeler would be named NL Pitcher of the Month.
Zack Wheeler deserves all the praise
No one deserves the award more than Zack Wheeler. That gaudy 5.79 ERA now sits a 3.16 in the month of June. In 32.2 IP, Wheeler posted a 1.65 ERA with an 11.2 K/9. He allowed a single home run.
To put his stretch into perspective, over a 162-game season, his month would translate to 222 IP with 272 strikeouts.
This is the first time a Phillies has won the award since Cliff Lee in August of 2011. Lee posted a minuscule 0.45 ERA that month. He also won the award in June of that same year.
The award was confirmed later by Phillies beat writer Alex Coffey and Dodgers reporter for the Athletic Fabian Ardaya.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum