Mets aren’t promoting Zack Wheeler because he might be too good

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The Mets aren’t promoting prospect Zack Wheeler for a spot start because the organization would feel pressure to extend his stint in the big leagues, says ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin:

Essentially, team brass internally resolved, New York couldn’t handle a spot start from Wheeler and return to Triple-A.

If the outing was too successful filling in for Niese, the pressure would have been overwhelming to keep Wheeler in the major league rotation. So the organization decided to bypass the potential agita and instead give Collin McHugh the assignment.

The 23-year-old Wheeler, rated the #11 overall prospect by Baseball America entering the season, has a 4.13 ERA in 52.1 innings. The Mets snagged Wheeler from the Giants in the Carlos Beltran trade in July 2011.

Mets manager Terry Collins said, “If Zack comes, we hope that he stays here for the rest of his time.”

Dominic Smith dealing with a strained right quad

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Mets first baseman Dominic Smith is dealing with a strained right quad and is set to undergo an MRI on Monday, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Smith, 22, did not play in the Mets’ first Grapefruit League game after showing up late. He played on Saturday, scoring two runs on a single and a hit-by-pitch in two plate appearances. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup.

The Mets signed Adrian Gonzalez during the offseason, which makes him the front runner for the starting job at first base. Smith needs to have a strong spring showing to make the 25-man roster but so far, it hasn’t gone well.

Smith made his major league debut in August last year and ended up playing in 49 games. He struggled to a .198/.262/.395 slash line with nine home runs and 26 RBI in 183 plate appearances.