"No. 1, he's at 130 innings," Collins said. "He's going to be limited innings this summer. The amount is yet to be determined. When you got 14 starts left, he's going to start creeping up on it."
The fact that Harvey is also dealing with a blister on his right index finger also played into his decision, Collins said.
"With his blisters, we want those to have some time [to heal]," Collins said. "We've got to skip him sooner or later. This is nothing new. If he pitches in the All-Star Game, he'll be ready for it. But just for us as an organization, we need to back him off, and we thought now would be a good time."
Harvey, 24, pitched a combined 169 1/3 innings last season, 110 for Triple-A Buffalo and 59 1/3 for the Mets, but was shut down after his Sept. 19 start against Philadelphia. Collins said the Mets plan to increase Harvey's workload by around 30 percent this year. That works out to around 221 innings.
"I think it's very important for Matt to pitch a complete season, if he can do it," Collins said. "There will be nights where he's electric and he's able to go deep into games. And the next start he will probably be limited."
Harvey, the seventh overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, said he hates to miss starts but understands the decision.
"Obviously I don't like not playing or being able to participate, but I think in the long run I'd rather miss a start now than miss all of September and not be able to pitch because of an innings limit," Harvey said. "If they felt that this was a good time to kind of skip over some things, if this keeps me pitching all year long and until the end of September, until the end of the season, that's a decision that they're going to make.
"In the long run, I don't have a say in really what goes on. Right now everything feels fine, but they feel like at 130-plus innings, in order to stay on path for a full season, they felt this was a good time to skip, so I'm on board for that."
Harvey will throw a bullpen session on Friday and, most likely, one or two innings in the All-Star Game at Citi Field. The question is whether Giants manager Bruce Bochy, the NL manager, will have Harvey start the game.
"Whatever he decides, it's his decision," Harvey said. "I'm just excited to be part of the team, and wherever they want me to throw, I'll be happy to throw."
Collins said he'd have no problem with Harvey pitching in the All-Star Game.
"It's only an inning," Collins said. "If he's going to get in the All-Star Game it's great, because that way when he comes out in the second half, at least he's got some action in the last 10 days."
Right-hander Carlos Torres, who has replaced the injured Shaun Marcum in the rotation, will start Saturday's game against the Pirates, Collins said.