|Tampa Bay Rays — No. 35|
|Born: December 10, 1977
Providence, Rhode Island
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|September 1, 1999 for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
(through 2009 season)
|Earned run average||3.88|
Daniel Michael Wheeler (born December 10, 1977, in Providence, Rhode Island) is a Major League Baseball pitcher currently playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. Wheeler is a native of Warwick, Rhode Island. He pitched his high school ball at Pilgrim High School in Warwick. He was drafted in the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft by the Rays out of Central Arizona Junior College. He has also played for the New York Mets, who traded him to the Houston Astros for minor leaguer Adam Seuss in 2004. In 2005, Wheeler established himself as a top setup man for the Astros, going 2-3 with a 2.21 ERA in 71 games.
On October 19, 2005 during the National League Championship Series he recorded the last out at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, a fly ball which was caught by Astro Jason Lane in right field off the bat of Yadier Molina. He played on Team USA in the 2006 World Baseball Classic in the offseason.
On July 28, 2007, Wheeler was traded back to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in exchange for third baseman Ty Wigginton. He and former teammate Mike DiFelice are the only players to suit up in all three of the franchise's uniforms.
He is one of four pitchers who have pitched in at least 70 games each of the four seasons from 2004-08, the others being Scott Schoeneweis (who has done so for five seasons), Bob Howry, and Chad Qualls.
After giving up four runs in the 8th inning and blowing a 3-2 Astros lead over the Oakland Athletics on June 13, 2007, Wheeler pushed fellow pitcher Chris Sampson in the dugout. Sampson was reportedly attempting to console Wheeler after another tough outing. Wheeler later apologized for his outburst and claimed he had no ill feelings toward Sampson, but he was called into manager Phil Garner's office after the game because of the incident.
Wheeler is married to Stephanie, daughter of Rays broadcaster Dewayne Staats. Dan and Stephanie have two sons, Gabriel Michael (b. 2004) and Zachary James (b. 2007), live in Seminole, a city near St. Petersburg.