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Mets won't use Wheeler out of 'pen in September

Mets won't use Wheeler out of 'pen in September

PHOENIX -- Though the Mets will continue to monitor Zack Wheeler's workload down the stretch, they will not use him as a relief pitcher to curtail his innings.

Manager Terry Collins originally floated the idea of using Wheeler out of the bullpen late last month, reasoning that the team's six-man rotation may not do enough to limit his workload. Wheeler finished last season with 149 innings split between two levels, and Collins said Saturday that he should end this year in the 180-190 range.

Entering Saturday's play, that gave him approximately 60 innings to work with over eight starts -- an average of more than seven per outing, which -- assuming the Mets stick with a six-man rotation -- should be enough to last Wheeler through September.

"We've still got him for a number of starts," Collins said.

The same may not be true of Matt Harvey, who is already within 10 innings of matching the 169 1/3 he threw last year. Harvey will be allowed to hit 200 innings this year, but likely not much more than that, meaning the Mets could still shut him down in September. The team is using a six-man rotation largely to avoid that situation for as long as possible.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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