NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Top Mets prospect Zack Wheeler was scratched from Wednesday’s start against the St. Louis Cardinals due to what the team is calling a mild right oblique strain.

Wheeler said he was “a little stiff” after suffering the injury during batting practice.

“I don’t want to risk anything,” Wheeler said. “We’ve still got a month and a half left.”

Left-hander Darin Gorski will start for New York. Wheeler would have faced former Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, who he was traded for in 2011.

General manager Sandy Alderson said the decision to scratch Wheeler was “mostly precautionary at this point.”

“He tried to throw and didn’t experience any problem, but he was sore to the touch so we backed him off,” Alderson said.

Wheeler has drawn rave reviews in Port St. Lucie, and much has been already written about his bullpen and batting practice sessions. He tossed two scoreless innings in his spring training debut on Saturday.

The 22-year-old right-hander is still on schedule for Opening Day at Triple-A Las Vegas, according to the Mets’ official website. But Wheeler has his sights set on making the big club right out of camp.

“I don’t want to miss a start at all,” he said. “I’m trying to go out there and win a spot like I said from Day 1. I would rather be out one start than two months and be behind the eight-ball once I do come back.”

What’s your level of concern, Mets fans? Let us know in the comments…

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