Zack Wheeler joined the MLB Network crew after being named Cy Young Award finalist
Last night, Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler were named finalists for the NL MVP and Cy Young Awards. This is Bryce’s second time being named a finalist for MVP, and Wheeler’s first time being a finalist for the highest pitcher honor in the league, the Cy Young Award. After his nomination, Wheeler sat down on MLB Network to discuss his thoughts on being nominated for the award.
Zack Wheeler was the first Phillies pitcher to lead the MLB in strikeouts since 1998. Wheeler struck out 247 batters throughout the 2021 season. He finished the season 14-10 with a 2.78 ERA in 32 games. Wheeler pitched 213.1 innings with a 1.01 WHIP, with a 5.37 SO/W and a 10.4 SO/9 ratio. He dominated each game night in and night out on the mound for the Phillies, solidifying himself as the team’s true ace after a down season from Aaron Nola. Wheeler finished the season with a 7.7 WAR, leading all NL pitchers.
Wheeler was asked in the interview about going deep into games and was questioned about how pitchers don’t really go late into games anymore.
“Something that you try to do every year, especially coming off of last year (shortened 2020 season)….I knew it was going to affect me a little bit, but it didn’t really hit me until after the All-Star Break. Going 200+ innings was special, especially in today’s game where teams rely heavily on their bullpen.”
Zack Wheeler will be going up against Corbin Burnes (11-5, 2.43 ERA) of the Milwaukee Brewers, and Dodgers’ Max Scherzer (15-4, 2.46 ERA), who was also a part of the Washington Nationals at the beginning of the season, before their blockbuster trade sending Scherzer and Turner to Los Angeles. The NL Cy Young winner will be announced on November 17th.
Zack Wheeler was also asked about his message to young kids and men that are entering the MLB, and the importance of taking care of your arm after Wheeler has dealt with past injuries throughout his career.
“It took me two years to rehab. Not taking a break during the rehab hurt me. You need to take time off…everyone’s different with how they rehab. Listen to doctors, work on your arm strength and mobility, and there’s nothing stopping you.”
This Phillies offseason is crucial. There are many in-house decisions to make regarding money, while a lot of big-name free agents are starting to hit the market. Until then. make sure to keep an eye on The Liberty Line over the next weeks for all things Phillies, and hopefully, Zack Wheeler and Bryce Harper will bring home their respected awards on November 17th and 18th.