Astros add Wheeler to staff

By Jim Callis
August 27, 2004

After putting Dan Miceli, Darren Oliver and Andy Pettitte on the disabled list this month, the Astros needed pitching reinforcements. They found one Friday in a minor trade with the Mets, getting Dan Wheeler for high Class A outfielder Adam Seuss.

A 26-year-old righthander, Wheeler is best known for winning the 1999 Pan American Games semifinal that qualified Team USA for the 2000 Olympics. His top pitch is his slider, and he also has an average fastball and a changeup. He never has found a way to get lefthanders out, and that has been a huge problem this season, as lefties have walloped him at a .404/.465/.663 clip with six homers in 89 at-bats. Wheeler went 3-1, 4.80 in 32 appearances (one start) for the Mets, with a 46-17 strikeout-walk ratio in 51 innings. Opponents batted .307 with nine homers against him. His career record is 6-9, 5.15 with two saves in 97 games.

Seuss, 23, signed as a 36th-round pick in 2002 from UC Riverside. He’s a nondescript outfielder/DH who doesn’t have a standout tool. He has hit .283/.370/.396 with seven homers and 64 RBIs in 104 games at high Class A Salem this year, boosting his career numbers to .263/.346/.384 with 17 homers and 132 RBIs in 246 contests.