So I know my posts on Dan Wheeler's ineffectiveness are probably grating on everyone's nerves, but I promise this is the last one for awhile.
Specifically, I'm going to focus on his changeup, or lack there of. Sunday's game marked the third time this season that Wheeler has used his changeup, and the second time it has failed to register more than a two mile an hour difference from his fastball. As has been the pattern with Wheeler so far this season, his fastball velocity sat at 86mph and peaked at 87. Unlike his other appearances this season, he threw his changeup nearly as often as his fastball on Sunday(8 fastballs, 7 changeups). Except there's one problem with that. If batters are crushing his 86mph batting practice style fastball, then they're probably not going to be fooled by his 84mph changeup.
In his April 8th appearance there was a 2MPH drop off from fastball to changeup. On April 14th there was a 4MPH drop off (yay! progress!). On Sunday it was back to a 2MPH drop off (*frowny face*). That's...that's not good. As a quick comparison, on Friday James Shields' fastball averaged 89MPH while his changeup averaged 82MPH. 7MPH difference = good, 2MPH difference = bad. I'd say stop throwing the changeup, but at this point it doesn't look like it would make much of a difference.
Obviously there's something wrong with Dan Wheeler, be it an injury, his mechanics, or something mental. Aside from a trip to the DL I'm not sure what the Rays should do about it. Unless Wheeler can figure out a way to get hitters out with 86MPH heat and a changeup that doesn't change, it's going to be a long season for the Rays bullpen.