Zack Wheeler does not want to be Matt Harvey. Nor does the Mets’ top pitching prospect want to be a savior. Wheeler admitted he just wants to get though his major-league debut without getting sick on the mound. “It is going to be a big moment in my life. There are probably gonna be some nerves going in,” Wheeler said Monday in anticipation of his debut Tuesday. “I had a pitching coach my first year in low (Class-A), Steve Kline, he played forever in the big leagues with the Cardinals and Giants. He told me, ‘Whatever you do, don’t go out there and look up, because all the lights and the fans will be moving and it will make you sick.’ I think he said he threw up on the mound the first time. So he told me not to look up, that was his advice.” With Wheeler about to be unwrapped against the Braves at Turner Field, about 40 minutes from where he grew up, he’ll have too much on his mind to worry about the pressure of being a savior to the struggling Mets. “I don’t think I am the savior at all,” Wheeler said. “We’ve got great arms here and great players here. We might not be doing too well right now, but I know the talent of these guys. Hopefully we can turn it around here soon. I just want to help the team and do what I can.” He also can’t worry about being the second coming of Harvey, the Mets’ second-year ace who has established himself as one of the top young pitchers in the majors. Harvey is slated to pitch the first game of the two-admission doubleheader. Both power righties have fastballs that sit in the mid-90s, but Harvey and Wheeler are very different off the mound. Harvey has embraced the spotlight of New York. Wheeler is more laid back and quiet, though he had no trouble handling the media spotlight Monday. Wheeler knows there will be comparisons but also knows he has to take his own path. “I mean he set the bar so high, because he took off once he came up here,” Wheeler said of Harvey. “Some people expected it, some people didn’t. I am just going to go out there and do the best I can. People take it how they want. Hopefully I will do well and be up there with him.” Harvey said he had not talked much to Wheeler after spring training, but he was “curious” to see the debut.
Mets' Zack Wheeler set for Major League debut
New York Daily News | Jun 18