Bobby Wahl Shows An Uptick In Velocity

Righthander Bobby Wahl’s return from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome has brought with it a pleasant surprise: an uptick in velocity.

The 26-year-old reliever, who arrived in the July trade that sent Jeurys Familia to the Athletics, was sitting 96-97 mph upon his arrival to the Mets—something that might have seemed unlikely last summer as he was preparing for TOS surgery.

“You hear stories about the surgery and how a lot of guys don’t come back from it,” Wahl said, “but I didn’t ever really feel like that was going to happen to me. I tried to have a positive mindset the entire time and, fortunately, I have been able to come back healthy and pitch.”

Wahl’s fastball sat in the 95-96 mph range in his seven relief appearances for the Athletics last season, when he recorded a 4.70 ERA. The Mississippi product was Oakland’s fifth-round pick in 2013.

“The biggest difference for me has been the recovery,” Wahl said. “Last year I would throw or pitch and I would have all the symptoms—a heavy arm, tingling, a lot of pain—so there really wasn’t any recovery process. Every time I pitched, I kind of put myself in a hole.”

Wahl joins righthanders Drew Smith and Tyler Bashlor among hard-throwing relievers the Mets have called up to evaluate for 2019.

For now, Mets officials are just trying to get read on Wahl in his comeback from TOS.

“Usually, guys don’t come back throwing this hard,” Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland said. “But this TOS, those things kind of have a mind of their own. Some guys come back better than others. I think that is the mystery behind it. From what I have seen, I like (Wahl’s) arm. I like his approach.”

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