ATLANTA -- Zack Wheeler's season should consist of about 28 more innings, an insider told ESPNNewYork.com. Whether that gets Wheeler through the remainder of the season remains to be seen.
New York Mets
Wheeler next pitches Friday in Cleveland.
If the Mets operated with a five-man rotation, Wheeler's turn would come up five times in September -- meaning he would need to average less than six innings per outing to complete the season. Being more successful and going deeper into games would shut him down early.
The Mets also are considering a six-man rotation, but the team insider bluntly said that cannot happen if the sixth starter is only going to contribute two or three innings a start.
Team officials want to limit Wheeler's innings jump to about 30 over the 2012 level.
He tossed 149 innings last season between Double-A and Triple-A.
This season, he has tossed 151 2/3 innings between the majors and minors, giving him about 28 to go.
Wheeler said he has not been officially been informed of a 180-inning cap, but "that's what everybody has been saying the whole year."
Terry Collins said the Mets will not be extra conservative with Wheeler given Matt Harvey appears headed for Tommy John surgery. Even with precautions, Collins suggested, ligament tears happen when they're going to happen.
"I don't care what you do," he said. "You can't stop it."