MIAMI -- More than most members of the Mets organization, Terry Collins understands the pitfalls of pitching in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Collins managed for years in the league, gaining a keen understanding of its reputation as a hitter's paradise -- and, by extension, a pitcher's nightmare.

So Collins was not surprised to hear top prospect Zack Wheeler's recent complaints about the difficulty of pitching at Las Vegas. He simply would have preferred for Wheeler to deal with those concerns in a different way.

"Anytime you say something like that, it sounds like it's an excuse," Collins said. "Fix it. That's all. You've got to go pitch, along with the other 125 pitchers in that league."

Wheeler did precisely that on Tuesday afternoon, striking out eight and walking one batter in his best start of the season. Limiting walks, Collins said, will be the fastest way for Wheeler to overcome the conditions at Vegas and potentially make his Major League debut later this summer.