Jan 2, 2020

Dan Wheeler: Early 2000s Mets Pitcher (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 getting him to the big leagues by 1999. He went 0-4 in Tampa that season and would pitch there for three years, as a middle reliever. 

Olympic Team: He was a member of the 2000 US Olympic team, helping Team USA beat Mexico to advance to the final rounds.

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

He was promoted to the Mets staff that summer, debuting on June 18th 2003. In his first game he a pitched three scorless  innings, against the  Florida Marlins, earning the save.

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

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

The next season he began the year with the Mets, even getting one start in April.  On April 8th, he earned a no decision, after allowing three runs in four innings, against the Milwaukee Brewers.  

In May, he won two games, both in  extra inning relief appearances. On May 9th, Kaz Matsui won the game with a walk off double & the other was on the road in Houston. On July 9th, he earned another win getting him to 3-0 although his ERA was at 4.42.

Subway Series History: 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. 

At the end of August he was traded to the Houston Astros for minor leaguer Adam Suess.

Wheeler would pitch in parts of four seasons with Houston, getting to two post seasons. 

Post Seasons: He would pitch four games in the 2004 NLCS, earning a win in Game #4. The Astros lost the series to the Atlanta Braves. 

He returned in 2005 getting all the way to the World Series, as the Astros lost to the Chicago White Sox. H He was credited with two holds in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cards & one hold in the World Series, Game #2.

In 2006, he filled in for the injured Brad Lidge & collected nine saves. In July of 2007, he was traded back to his old Tampa Rays team for Ty Wiggington. 

In the Rays 2008 AL Pennant season, he saved 13 games going 5-6 with a 3.12 ERA in 70 games. 

Post Season: He collected a save in Game #1 of the ALDS. He blew two saves against the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS but was credited with a hold in final Game #7 series winner. He would pitch one inning in Game #2 of the 2010 ALDS loss to the Texas Rangers. In 21 post season appearances he is 1-0 with a save & a 3.38 ERA.

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.

Family: Wheeler is married to Stephanie, who is the daughter of long time Rays broadcaster Dewayne Staats. 

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