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Mets shut down Zack Wheeler (soreness in right collarbone)

Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler throws during the team's

Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler throws during the team's first pitchers and catchers workout at spring training baseball in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Feb. 13, 2013) Credit: AP

ST. LOUIS -- Top Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is heading back to New York to be examined by team doctors after he complained of soreness in his right collarbone.

"I think we're being a little bit conservative given who it is and making sure our guys see him right away," assistant general manager John Ricco said.

Wheeler, 22, likely will miss his next scheduled outing. The righthander first mentioned the soreness on Monday, two days after his previous outing for Triple-A Las Vegas.

Wheeler showed no sign of an injury as his velocity registered in his typical range. Nevertheless, Ricco said the Mets opted to take a cautious approach.

"It's kind of an odd area,'' Rico said, "so we just wanted to make sure."


Atchison shut down

Reliever Scott Atchison was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow. Collin McHugh was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.

According to Ricco, bone spurs in Atchison's elbow triggered the inflammation. He will be shut down for a week before he resumes throwing. Doctors found no new structural damage.

Said Ricco: "All things being considered, that's some good news."

McHugh posted a 2.74 ERA as a starter in Las Vegas but he will pitch in relief for the Mets. However, he was unavailable for Tuesday night's game against the Cardinals.

"It's an arm that we need," manager Terry Collins said. "Certainly, we're getting worn out down there. One thing we know is he can give us multiple innings. The fact that he's been starting really, really helps us out." Harvey a cover boy

Matt Harvey appeared on the cover of this week's editions of Sports Illustrated. "He's certainly deserved it," Collins said . . . . . . Against lefty John Gast, Ike Davis moved from cleanup to the seventh . . . Frank Francisco (elbow inflammation) reported to the team's complex in Port St. Lucie to begin his rehab spot.

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