Ex-Rays RHP Wheeler hoping for another shot
Former Rays reliever Dan Wheeler is back home in Pinellas County this week after getting his release from Kansas City’s Triple-A team, but hoping to get another opportunity to pitch.
“If something worked out I’d listen,’’ said Wheeler, 35. “I’m not closing the door on anything. It would have to be a really good situation.’
Wheeler last pitched regularly in the majors in 2011 with Boston. He spent the bulk of last season with Cleveland’s Triple-A team, though did pitch in 12 games for the Indians. He signed this winter with the Royals and went to Triple-A Omaha, but struggled, going 1-3, 9.00 in 11 games, allowing 28 hits and five walks in 15 innings. He had a May 15 out-clause and said both sides agreed to an early resolution.
Wheeler, though, said he is confident he could still be successful in the big leagues, and knows he would have to prove that by working his way back through the minors.
“I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything,’’ Wheeler said. “My arm and body feel great. There’s definitely something there.’’
And while he is enjoying being home with his family (which includes father-in-law Dewayne Staats, the Rays TV play-by-play man), Wheeler doesn't sound quite ready yet for retirement.
“No one wants to go out like that,’’ Wheeler said. “I’m kind of hoping there’s something out there. I'd be willing to listen.’’