RENO, Nev. — If Zack Wheeler set off any alarms within the Mets organization by admitting on Monday just how much he was struggling with the tough pitching conditions out here in the desert, he surely went a long way toward putting everyone at ease just a day later.

Flashing the overpowering arsenal that makes him such a highly touted prospect, Wheeler dominated the Reno Aces on Tuesday, mostly overmatching hitters for 6.2 innings in a 10-2 victory for Triple-A Las Vegas.

“That’s why I keep saying that when it clicks for him, look out,” said Vegas manager Wally Backman. “He’s plus-plus with just about all of his pitches, and today his command was much better.

“If he reels off two or three more starts like this one...”
Backman didn’t have to finish the sentence. A National League scout in attendance said it for him:

“He could go to the big leagues right now and have success the way he threw today,” the scout said.

OK, let’s slow down. It was only about five minutes ago that Wheeler’s high walk total, not to mention his 5.79 ERA, was becoming a significant concern — all the more so when the 23-year-old righthander told me on Monday that he was thinking about all the wrong things on the mound at times, such were his troubles gripping the ball in the dry, desert air.

Suffice it to say those comments at least raised eyebrows among some Mets people. “You’d never hear (Matt) Harvey say that,” was the way one such person put it on Tuesday.