PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The drama has since has been smoothed over, but Mets top prospect Zack Wheeler was involved in some drama last week, multiple sources told ESPNNewYork.com.
In a recent intrasquad game, Wheeler drilled third base prospect Aderlin Rodriguez in the hand with a pitch, and Rodriguez feared his hand was broken. Sources said Rodriguez subsequently told Wheeler that if he missed Opening Day, Wheeler would too. (Not a good career move to allegedly threaten the top prospect in the organization, by the way.)
Rodriguez had pimped a home run off Wheeler during a previous intrasquad matchup. Some in the organization were glad Wheeler displayed a mean streak in retaliating with the suspected purpose pitch, although not thrilled about having an in-house plunking. (It's still not officially established Wheeler hit Rodriguez on purpose. Wheeler has denied it.)
It turned out Rodriguez's hand was not broken, and he actually homered again in a regular minor league game days later.
The two prospects were called into an office last week and things were smoothed over.
Paul DePodesta recently acknowledged the incident to ESPNNewYork.com, but called it "exaggerated." Others in the organization did not minimize it.
The Daily News reported on the incident today.