December 3, 2023

Zack Wheeler takes home NL Pitcher of the Month


Bill Streicher/USA TODAY

Over the last 12 hours, a lot has gone down within the Phillies organization, and within the entire game of baseball.

With that said, there is a good chance that you missed the fact that Phillies’ ace Zack Wheeler won the Pitcher of the Month award for the month of May.

The Zack Wheeler that we saw last month was a whole other player than the Zack Wheeler that we saw at the beginning of the 2022 season. He was allowing a lot of hard contact, and his fastball velocity was significantly lower than it was in the past. Although he has an excellent slider, Wheeler’s struggles with his fastball velocity made it evident how much he relies on his powerful fastball. All of his starts seemed to go awry in some way, shape, or form.

But in May, this was not the case. He started five games in the month and had an ERA of 1.65. His strikeout numbers have improved, and Phillies fans can officially confirm that Zack Wheeler is back to his dominating 2021 form.

This drastic adjustment from incompatible major-league starter to seasoned all-star may have seemed unlikely, but Zack Wheeler was able to do it. His fastball velocity increased by almost five miles per hour, and he was able to use it at any point in an at-bat.

His ERA for the season has dropped to 3.16, and his WHIP sits at just 1.15. Wheeler is expected to start game two of the weekend series against the Angels.

Martin Perez received the monthly honor for the American League. Perez had a microscopic .64 ERA in May, and he struck out 33 while recording a win in four of his six starts.

Aaron Judge won the Player of the Month award in the AL, and Paul Goldschmidt won it in the NL. Goldschmidt continued his hitting streak Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, as it is now at 25 straight games.

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