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Zack Wheeler's agent: Pitcher wasn't mishandled by Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The agent for Zack Wheeler emphatically indicated Wednesday that the New York Mets did not mishandle his client.

B.B. Abbott said the team acted consistently with independent analysis he sought from experts. Wheeler was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament this week and will require Tommy John surgery.

“Anything that happened last year, or any other time Zack has been a Met, has been with complete and full knowledge of the circumstances, and occurred after consultation with qualified orthopedic surgeons,” Abbott told ESPNNewYork.com.

Wheeler pitched with pain throughout last season, while making 32 starts. He had 13 starts of 110 or more pitches -- the most of anyone in the majors among pitchers 24 or younger.

The usage prompted some media critics to suggest that a more conservative approach during last season -- such as a DL stint or less rigorous outings -- potentially could have allowed the elbow to calm and avoid a tear.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson vehemently countered Tuesday that the elbow ligament was bound to give out at some point. Treating Wheeler more gingerly last season only would have deprived the Mets of his contribution while not avoiding an eventual tear, the GM asserted.

Despite the external criticism, Abbott clearly stated he has no qualms with the Mets' handling of Wheeler. He told the Record later Wednesday that Wheeler had been diagnosed with a bone spur, but there was no indication from medical professionals that the UCL would be impacted by continuing to pitch.