PHILADELPHIA -- Mets top prospect Zack Wheeler has been pitching with a blister on his middle finger, which could explain why he has had two lackluster outings for Triple-A Las Vegas.
The Mets were concerned enough about their 22-year-old phenom that they sent him for an MRI between the starts. Nothing was revealed other than a blister.
The blister apparently burst on Tuesday during Wheeler's start at Fresno. Wheeler allowed four runs (one earned) in 5 1/3 innings. He had only lasted 3 1/3 innings in his first game of the season. He is 0-1 with a 3.12 ERA.
Wheeler had a blister last season and missed a start for Double-A Binghamton. He is expected to make his next start.
As Jordany spins
Jordany Valdespin raised some eyebrows on Tuesday night when he pounded his chest after hitting a triple in the fifth inning of an 8-3 loss to the Phillies. The Mets were trailing 8-2 at the time.
"Everybody knows that's how I play my game," Valdespin said. "I don't care. If they hit me [with a pitch], I'll say I'll steal second and give David [Wright] a chance for an RBI."
Valdespin was in the lineup Wednesday night as the leadoff hitter. In his first at-bat, he beat out a slow roller to first with a headfirst slide. He then clapped three times.
"Guys are doing all sorts of things today that years ago people didn't like," manager Terry Collins said. "Today, it's just part of the game and you look the other way."
Shaun Marcum threw off a mound in Port St. Lucie for the first time since getting an injection to relieve inflammation in his neck last week.