MIAMI - Tightness in the back of Rafael Montero's right shoulder has prompted the Mets to send the pitcher to New York for an MRI exam Thursday, assistant general manager John Ricco said. "Hopefully it's nothing serious," said Ricco, who indicated that Montero did not report the issue until late Tuesday, after the pitcher's start against the Marlins.

Montero, 24, had been ticketed to rejoin the Triple-A Las Vegas rotation after his spot start on Tuesday, when he allowed three runs in 52/3 innings. Instead, he will be seen by team doctors as a precaution.

Ricco said Montero previously had not reported any shoulder issues. But during his start, Montero's velocity dipped in his final inning, with his fastball down to 91 mph after he had consistently hit 94.

First chance

Lefthander Jack Leathersich, whose vastly improved command prompted his promotion to the Mets, credited veteran Bobby Parnell for offering a few words of wisdom during spring training.

"It's just about focus," said Leathersich, who pointed at the nearly two-hour chat as one of the reasons he's reached the big leagues for the first time.

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Parnell also battled control issues before establishing himself as a big leaguer. Leathersich, 24, had a 2.57 ERA in seven appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas. He has 13 strikeouts to only two walks.In his minor-league career, Leathersich has struck out batters at an otherworldly rate 15.3 per nine innings. But he has been undone by an unsightly 4.8 walks per nine innings.

Wright track

David Wright (right hamstring) has progressed to taking live batting practice and moving laterally while fielding grounders. Manager Terry Collins said Wright also has resumed running in a straight line.