On-Base Perception

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Agent: Wheeler exam 'totally precautionary'

Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during

Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during a spring training workout at Tradition Field. (Feb. 15, 2013) (Credit: Alejandra Villa)

ST. LOUIS -- Top prospect Zack Wheeler has been pitching with soreness in his collarbone over his past few starts. However, his agent on Tuesday described the decision to have the pitcher examined in New York as "totally precautionary."

"Been more of an annoyance than anything else for the last couple of starts," said Al Goetz, Wheeler's agent. "He could have continued and [it] wasn't affecting his performance."

Wheeler is the middle of his best stretch of the season with Triple-A Las Vegas, allowing just three runs over his last three starts for a 1.35 ERA. During that span, he has struck out 19 batters while walking just three. The recent surge came after he struggled with his command during his first five appearances.

Assistant general manager John Ricco said Wheeler first approached the team about the soreness on Monday, two days following his previous start. He said the Mets were "being a little bit conservative" with Wheeler.

The righthander is expected to miss his next scheduled start, Ricco said.

In eight starts, Wheeler is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

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