Zack Wheeler spoke about his health and a potential move to the bullpen during an appearance at the Mets' annual coat drive at Citi Field on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old said he threw about three weeks ago and will do so again around Christmas in what he called a "normal offseason," according to Joe Trezza of MLB.com. Wheeler added that he has not felt pain since April and that "this is the best he's felt."
He was also open to the idea of moving to the bullpen to start 2017, something Mets GM Sandy Alderson mentioned prior to the start of the Winter Meetings this past Sunday.
"I've stared my whole life, so obviously I'd like to do that," Wheeler said. "But I know they're looking out for me. ...Whatever is best for my health is fine with me."
"We're trying to think expansively where he may fit," Alderson said at the time. "There's no reason why he needs to be a starter. He may be better off out of the bullpen. We might have to be careful. It's all hypothetical. I don't see reason to eliminate the possibility."
Wheeler, who had Tommy John surgery in March of 2015, was shut down in early-September after being examined by Dr. James Andrews and diagnosed with a mild flexor strain in his pitching arm.
In addition to the flexor strain, his return to action was also delayed in 2016 after having an undissolved stitch surgically removed. He also had an anti-inflammatory injection to treat nerve pain.
Wheeler last pitched in the majors for the Mets in 2014, when he had a 3.54 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. He made one rehab appearance with St. Lucie last August before he was shut down for the season.