Phillies’ London Series rotation plan isn't good news for Zack Wheeler

Rest can be a good thing for some people, but that’s not the case for the Phillies’ ace.
Phillies' starting pitcher Zack Wheeler
Phillies' starting pitcher Zack Wheeler / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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The Philadelphia Phillies are already in England to take on the New York Mets in the two-game London Series series this weekend. The plan for Rob Thomson’s team is to keep the rotation the same with Ranger Suárez and Taijuan Walker taking the mound overseas.

What does this mean for Phillies’ ace Zack Wheeler?

Phillies’ London Series rotation plan isn't good news for Zack Wheeler

Wheeler will not be taking the mound across the pond, and he won’t do so again until the Phillies head to Boston to take on the Red Sox on June 11.

Wheeler’s last start was on June 3 in a 3-1 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers, meaning he’ll have eight days rest before his next start. The extra rest isn't something that Wheeler enjoys, and the numbers back it up. Per MLB.com's Paul Casella, his ERA significantly rises after extra rest.

Since the beginning of 2023, Wheeler's ERA on normal rest is 1.95 ERA, while his ERA on extra rest is 4.12.

Athletes are creatures of habit. They like to develop a routine, and some even take it to extreme levels. An extra rest day here and there can certainly throw off that routine and make a player feel uncomfortable.

Ever since the Phillies signed Wheeler away from the division rival Mets prior to the 2020 season, he has been everything the franchise hoped for and more.

Wheeler agreed to a three-year contract extension in the spring, keeping one of the game’s best starting pitchers in Philadelphia through the 2027 season.

Through 13 games in his fifth year as a Phillie, the Cy Young Award hopeful owns a 7-3 record with a 2.23 ERA. This is no different from the previous four years for Wheeler as the right-hander has a 2.97 ERA in his Phillies career.

The Phillies starting rotation has been off to an incredible start to the season and ranks among the best in baseball. Wheeler has been a large reason as to why they’re having so much success.

The Phillies are fortunate enough to have three legit candidates to win the NL Cy Young Award in 2024. Teammates Aaron Nola and Suárez both have been having exceptional seasons on the mound, but Wheeler looks to be the NL favorite as of June.

Will there be some rust for Wheeler the next time he takes the mound? Maybe. It’s nothing too big to worry about because at the end of the day, Wheeler’s “bad day” is an average pitcher’s great day.

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