12/16/2013 5:00 P.M. ET
Wheeler takes part in question-and-answer session
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
Right-hander Zack Wheeler took time away from his offseason activities this week to join MLB.com's Pete McCarthy in a question-and-answer session with Mets fans.
Wheeler took questions on social media -- via the hashtag #AskZack -- about everything from his goals this season to his transition to the big leagues.
"[The transition] hasn't been too hard, because my teammates and the coaching staff and everybody has been awesome," Wheeler said of making it with the Mets. "It hasn't been too tough. You've got people like [Matt Harvey], and he was in my position a year earlier, coming up, and when I first came up, I had [former Mets catcher John Buck], and he had been up in the big leagues for a long time."
Speaking of Harvey, Wheeler was asked whether he feels any pressure to perform as well as Harvey did in his sophomore campaign.
"No," Wheeler said. "I'm me. Just trying to go out there, do my job and pitch. What he did was awesome, as far as [starting] the All-Star Game in his second season -- really, [his] first full season. That was kind of wild, but I'm just trying to go out there and concentrate on what I'm doing and help this team win."
Wheeler will be a familiar face among a few new ones added to the roster this winter, including outfielders Chris Young and Curtis Granderson, and starter Bartolo Colon.
"I definitely think they're all good add-ons. It definitely won't hurt us," Wheeler said. "Colon, he's been around a while, and hopefully, he can help us. He's been doing a good job lately. Hopefully, he can do that for us, and hopefully, I can learn from him. You'll have Young in the outfield, and hopefully, he can run down some stuff and hit a little bit. Everybody's definitely going to help us. Curtis, I heard he's a great guy -- not just on the field but off the field. I think that'll definitely carry over to the clubhouse."
Wheeler was in New York on Monday, along with teammate Daniel Murphy, to meet fans, sign autographs and give away some tickets. He also intends to hand out some Christmas presents on Tuesday before greeting fans at Wednesday's coat drive at Citi Field.
"I'm going to be the elf," Wheeler said of Tuesday's event. "Murphy's going to be Santa, and I'm going to be the elf. ... I think it's going to be a good time."
Wheeler, who grew up in Georgia and talked about admiring the Braves' great pitching staffs as a kid, has been working this offseason to get his arm strong enough to reach 200 innings in 2014.
That count could begin on Opening Day, an opportunity Wheeler would relish if offered the chance.
"You definitely want that day going into Spring Training," he said, "but it's a little tough competition between [Colon, Jon Niese and Dillon Gee], and somebody else could come up out of nowhere. Whoever gets that day, it's probably going to be a win. We're going to have a good staff this year."
Wheeler added that his experience in 2013 -- when he went 7-5 in 17 games -- will go a long way in helping for 2014.
"I think it's just thinking about what you did wrong and what you did right last year and just going over that and knowing what you have to do to perform and do good," Wheeler said. "For me, it's just attacking the hitters and getting into the strike zone early. Getting quick outs and allowing me to go deeper into games."