Zack Wheeler strained his oblique yesterday while taking batting practice and was later scratched from his start.
“I came out and it was a little stiff,” Wheeler told reporters yesterday. “It’s early in the spring. We’ve still got a month left, so I don’t want to risk a bigger injury and be out longer.”
The Mets have described Wheeler’s injury as a mild strain of his oblique, although they have not set a timetable for him to return.
“You’re certainly not going to take a chance,” Terry Collins said, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. “You’ve got to be very, very careful, because we’re not going to do anything to hurt this guy.”
Wheeler’s strain is not as bad as originally feared, and he should resume throwing in seven to eight days (Puma, NY Post).
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:
There probably isn’t much to be concerned about just yet. It’s more disappointing than anything else, because I want to see him throw and continue to generate the excitement he has already created over the first month of camp. But there is absolutely no reason to play this aggressively, have him start throwing again prematurely, change his mechanics, and do damage elsewhere. And, in all probability, Wheeler was slated to start his season in the minor leagues anyway. But if this lingers, it could impact his ability to be ready for Opening Day, which in turn could have an impact on his arrival in Flushing, should he prove ready.