Manager Terry Collins acknowledged that Wheeler's shoulder didn't feel quite right after his most recent start but chalked up the decision as a precautionary measure. "With what's happen with Matt, it's not time to take chances," Collins said (source: MetsBlog).
"Matt" is, of course, 24-year-old ace Matt Harvey, who's presently dealing with a partially torn UCL and may yet be forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. Obviously, there's no point in taking any chances with Wheeler. After all, even mild discomfort can lead to a lapse in mechanics, which, in turn, can lead to certifiable injury.
So the 23-year-old Wheeler, whom the Mets acquired from the Giants in 2011 in exchange for Carlos Beltran and who entered 2013 ranked by MLB.com as the no. 8 prospect in all of baseball, ends his 2013 with these numbers: 100 IP, 3.42 ERA, 105 ERA+, 1.36 WHIP, 1.83 K/BB ratio. He'll open the 2014 season in the Mets' rotation. It remains to be seen whether he'll be joined by Harvey.