Zack Wheeler didn't just turn a corner in 2018, he turned into one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball in the second half of the season. And he attributes it to something really simple.
"I think it was just being healthy," Wheeler said Tuesday morning during an appearance on the MLB Network.
"I was able to actually concentrate on all my bullpens," Wheeler added, noting that the ability to focus on work rather than worry about any kind of health issue helped him reach the next level.
The 28-year-old Wheeler, who missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to Tommy John surgery and battlled through nagging injuries and stops and starts in 2017, broke through in 2018, with a career-best 3.31 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 179 strikeouts in 182.1 innings pitched (29 starts).
During the second half of 2018, Wheeler was nearly unhittable, posting a 1.68 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in 75 innings (11 starts).
Wheeler is in the final year of his contract and the Mets remain undecided on committing to him long-term. While the Mets decide what to do, the pending free agent said there is a different feel around the team now that Brodie Van Wagenen is the GM.
"He brings in this attitude of confidence and confidence in us as players," Wheeler said. "He's been on the other side of the ball, so he knows how to communicate with us really well. ... he's good for our organization. He's made a lot of good quality moves."
Wheeler also discussed a few key attributes about second-year manager Mickey Callaway.
"He knows how to communicate with us pitchers. When he takes us out of the game. he knows how to explain it and why he did it without making us too mad," Wheeler said with a chuckle.
Of course, no interview with a Mets pitcher would be complete without a discussion about who has the best hair -- specifically between Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom.
"Noah's is pretty ugly but he does have the best hair out of those two now," Wheeler said. "He has the whole Viking look going."