Zack Wheeler knows he has a lot to live up to in the eyes of Mets fans. He just hopes he doesn’t have only one start to do so.
“I don’t think I’m the savior at all,” Wheeler told reporters yesterday in his first press conference with Mets reporters. “I’m just trying to come up here and play the best that I can, help out the team any way I can. I know people are going to scrutinize.”
If anything, the debut of Matt Harvey last summer — and subsequent star turn in 2013 — has raised the bar for Wheeler, who was ranked the No. 8 prospect in baseball by MLB.com prior to the season.
“He set the bar so high because he just took off once he came up here,” Wheeler said. “Hopefully I’ll do well and just be up there with him.”
Wheeler, 23, will be making his major-league debut just 10 miles from his hometown of Smyrna, Ga. But he said he never really had a team growing up, even though he got caught up in the Braves fervor through the 1990s.
In fact, he said he was actually a bigger fan of basketball than baseball growing up.
Wheeler will start the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader at 7:10 p.m. Harvey is scheduled to start the opener at 1:05 p.m.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.