Dec 9, 2016

Early 2000s Mets Pitcher: Dan Wheeler (2003-2004)

Daniel Michael Wheeler was born December 10, 1977 in Providence, Rhode Island. The six foot three right hander was selected in the 34th round of the 1996 draft by the Tampa Rays.

He won double figures twice in the minors making his debut in Tampa by 1999. He went 0-4 and would pitch there for three years, as a middle reliever. He was on the 2000 US Olympic team, helping Team USA beat Mexico to advance to the final rounds.

He signed on with the New York Mets as a free agent for 2003 and began the year at AAA Norfolk, where he went 4-2 finishing up ten games posting four saves along the way.

He was promoted to the Mets staff debuting on June 18th 2003 in a game against the Florida Marlins, pitching three scoreless innings earning the save.

His next appearance came in the subway series, in a Mets 7-3 loss at Shea Stadium where he finished out the 11th inning. Wheeler spent the rest of the year with the team, earning another save on July 22nd against the Philadelphia Phillies.

He earned his first Mets win on September 1st beating the Atlanta Braves at Shea Stadium. Overall he pitched in 35 games going 1-3 with a 3.71 ERA.

The next season he was with the club from Opening Day on, getting one start in April earning no decision after allowing three runs in four innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. Wheeler won two games in May and went 3-1 with three holds, although his ERA was up near five through August. 

He pitched in five Subway Series games in his short time in New York, getting beat up in every outing, allowing six runs in seven innings. He was traded by the end of August for minor leaguer Adam Suess.

Wheeler saved nine games in 2006 with the Houston Astros filling in for the injured Brad Lidge. He went on to the Tampa Rays for a second time in his career, saving 13 games in their AL Pennant ’08 season going 5-6 with a 3.12 ERA in 70 games.

He pitched in Tampa through 2010, seeing action in one game of the 2010 ALDS loss to the Texas Rangers. Wheeler has pitched in three post seasons, going 1-0 with a 3.51 ERA in 25 innings of work.

In 2011 he signed with the Boston Red Sox going 2-2 with a 4.38 ERA in 47 games. In 2012 he pitched with the Cleveland Indians in just 12 games. He was granted free agency, was signed by the Kansas City Royals & then released in May 2013.

In his 13 year career he has pitched in 589 games going 25-43 with a 3.98 ERA & 43 saves. He struck out 555 batters & walked 194 in 640 innings of work.

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