New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler has undergone a series of injections to get back to full health following a stress reaction in his right arm that cut his 2017 season short.
Wheeler told the New York Post that he was using the prescription medicine Forteo in an effort to strengthen the bone.
“You do a shot in your stomach every day for six months. It’s not fun, but you got to do it,” Wheeler told the Post. “They give it to people with brittle bones, osteoporosis. My arm feels great. I’ve been on the mound six times now, so if this helps me get to 30 starts, I’m all for it.”
A 27-year-old right-hander, Wheeler had Tommy John surgery on March 25, 2016, made one minor league appearance that August and returned to the Mets last spring. He went 3-7 with a 5.21 ERA in 17 starts.
Wheeler was sidelined by biceps tendinitis in June, went 0-2 in four starts when he returned while allowing 24 hits and 11 walks in 20 innings, then went on the disabled list for the rest of the season with the stress reaction.
He told the Post he began the injections after two months of rest and said he wants to prove he can be healthy and a reliable contributor to the Mets.
“I’m just kind of tired of getting labeled as unreliable, as ‘He’s always hurt,'” Wheeler said. “I missed two seasons, but that was because of one injury [requiring Tommy John surgery]. I can’t help that. I worked my butt off in rehab, was doing great and then this bone issue.”
Wheeler beat the Mets in salary arbitration earlier this month and will get a raise from $800,000 to $1.9 million instead of New York’s $1.5 million offer.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.