Yesterday the Minnesota Twins promoted left-handed pitcher Jason Wheeler from Triple-A Rochester to the major league roster. Here’s a quick look at what to expect.
Wheeler was originally drafted by the Twins in the eighth round of the 2011 draft out of Loyola Marymount University. His pitchability and command made him a success at the Low-A, High-A, and Double-A levels, notably in 2014 when he posted a 2.67 ERA in 158 innings.
He struggled on reaching Triple-A for the first time in 2015 (6.58 ERA in 78 innings, 104 hits) but he improved dramatically in 2016, posting a 3.53 ERA in 145 innings with a 113/37 K/BB in his second try at Rochester. This season he has a 4.50 ERA in 44 innings with a 37/10 K/BB.
Wheeler is listed at 6-6, 255, a left-handed hitter and thrower born October 27, 1990. Despite his size he does not throw that hard, his fastball in the 88-92 range, but he can mix in a decent slider and change-up combination. He doesn’t have a true plus pitch but has figured out how to keep hitters off-balance, at least in Triple-A. He is also very durable.
Overall Wheeler profiles as a fifth starter or long reliever.