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Zack Wheeler throws bullpen session without shoulder pain

Zack Wheeler is entering his third season with the Phillies. (Cheryl Pursell)

The Philadelphia Phillies got tremendous news Monday, as All-Star right-hander Zack Wheeler threw his first bullpen session of the spring without feeling pain in his right shoulder.

“Physically, everything has turned out to be fine for him,” manager Joe Girardi said of Wheeler, according to Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Lauber noted that Wheeler, who is entering his third season with the Phillies, is set to have another bullpen session on Thursday.

Speaking to Matt Gelb of The Athletic Sunday, Wheeler revealed that he’s not quite up to speed because he experienced shoulder soreness in December:

“Just a slower start, really,” Wheeler said of his offseason work. “Honestly. I threw and it was a little sore so I shut it down. Started throwing again and I’m just a little behind because of that. It’s nothing concerning.”

“We had time,” Wheeler said. “I knew we had time, so I wanted to play it safe and make sure I built up like I usually do — like I need to — and just be safe with it.”

The 31-year-old righty went 14-10 with a 2.78 ERA, 2.59 FIP and 7.3 fWAR across a league-leading 213 1/3 innings a season ago, finishing second in National League Cy Young Award voting. In an ideal world, Wheeler would be ready in time to be the Opening Day starter, but what really matters is that he’s healthy enough to make north of 30 starts in 2022.


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