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Mets shut down pitcher Zack Wheeler after he experienced shoulder stiffness

Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler reportedly wanted to throw a bullpen session on Saturday, but manager Terry Collins said no. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Less than a month after receiving the devastating news of 24-year-old ace Matt Harvey's torn UCL, the New York Mets have chosen to play it safe with their other young stud.

The team has shut down 23-year-old pitcher Zack Wheeler for the rest of the season after the right-hander experienced shoulder stiffness following his last start, on Tuesday against the Giants, according to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin.

The Mets called Wheeler "healthy" in their official announcement on Twitter.

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Wheeler wanted to throw a bullpen session on Saturday, but manager Terry Collins stopped him from doing so, explaining that "it's not time to take chances," Rubin reports.

Wheeler finishes the 2013 season with an even 100 innings pitched at the major league level, and 168.2 combined with his time in Triple-A -- a 19.2 inning increase from last season.

"It was a group decision. I'm 20 innings over what I had last year. It's a little stiff, so we're just being cautious," he told ESPN New York, which also reported that "he is not scheduled for any MRIs or exams with doctors."

He posted a 3.42 ERA and 1.36 WHIP with the Mets, striking out 84 compared to 46 walks.

The former 2009 sixth overall draft pick of the Giants was traded to New York for Carlos Beltran at the 2011 deadline, and was ranked the No. 11 prospect in MLB by Baseball America before this season.

LEMIRE: Mets 24th in latest MLB Power Rankings