Zack Wheeler experienced stiffness in his pitching shoulder during his last start, so Mets officials have decided to shut down the rookie for the season, according to Adam Rubin.
Terry Collins said the Mets do not believe there is anything medically wrong with Wheeler. They simply believe the stiffness cropped up because he is roughly 20 innings over his 2012 total.
Wheeler wanted to proceed with a bullpen session in Philadelphia on Saturday in preparation for his originally scheduled start Monday in Cincinnati, but GM Sandy Alderson and Collins did not grant permission, according to the manager.
“With what’s happen with Matt [Harvey], it’s not time to take chances,” Collins said.
Said Wheeler: “It was a group decision. I’m 20 innings over what I had last year. It’s a little stiff, so we’re just being cautious.”
Wheeler said he is not scheduled for any MRIs or exams with doctors. He will just get regular treatment from team trainers.
Wheeler finishes his rookie season with a 7-5 record and a 3.42 ERA in 17 major league starts. He allowed 90 hits and walked 46 while striking out 84 in 100 innings.
The Mets seem to enjoy playing with fire this season when it came to their players and soreness and stiffness, but they didn’t hesitate when it came to Wheeler. Wilmer Flores, for example, continues to say his ankle is sore and the Mets continue to let him play through it. Matt Harvey had been battling forearm stiffness and soreness for almost two months before they sent him for an MRI and discovered the partial UCL tear in right elbow.
This will likely be something the Mets will monitor and I bet they do eventually send him for an MRI. They would be idiots not to.