New York Mets: Innings Limit Will Prevent a Zack Wheeler Call-Up

Bradley SmithContributor IIIAugust 2, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 11:  U.S. Futures All-Star Zack Wheeler #45 of the San Francisco Giants throws a pitch during the 2010 XM All-Star Futures Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 11, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

New York Mets prospect Zack Wheeler got a promotion, but not the one fans wanted.

Wheeler moved up from Double-A to Triple-A after going 10-6 with a 3.26 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 116 innings of work. He is likely to finish the season in the minors after Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said that there is an innings limit for Wheeler and Mets pitcher Matt Harvey.

Alderson is making it pretty clear that there is a plan in place for the future but that future will not be this season as Wheeler is up against a 150 innings limit.

"We probably don't want him to go much past 150 this year. If you look at what he has left, he's probably got enough left to get him through August in Buffalo. But I'm not sure there are going to be any innings left at the end of August. So I think it's unlikely we'll see him." (h/t Newsday)

Matt Harvey got his call-up and made his debut a week ago and has been nothing less than impressive.

In his debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he set the franchise record for strikeouts in a debut with 11 while picking up his first career win. He followed that up with a nice performance against the San Francisco Giants but took the loss due to a bunch of defensive follies.

Although Harvey is making the transition to the majors look effortless, like Wheeler, he will likely be shut down before the season ends. Alderson had this to say about his young right-hander:

Matt Harvey's in a similar situation. We're looking at 165-170 for him. I'm not saying that's the magic number, but just in terms of where we should end up at the end of the season, it'll be far short of 200. That may get him through the middle of September, it may get him through a little big longer than that, but we'll certainly have to keep an eye on that. (h/t

It is easy to see both sides of the equation in regards to the handling of these two young pitchers.

Management does not want to rush their development and put them into situations where they have not been groomed to tackle. Especially in a season where the postseason is not a likely destination, why risk a future investment now? From that standpoint, an innings limit for both pitchers makes sense.

The other side of the argument is mostly generated by fans. It pertains to Wheeler now that Harvey is in the majors but why not give him [Wheeler] an opportunity to see what he can do and get him that experience now?

This is a good problem for the Mets to have. They know better than anyone about the limitations of these guys. It is easy to understand that the fans want to see them pitch now, but it is nice to see the organization not falling into that temptation and go according to their plan.

“I’m anxious to see Zack Wheeler pitch,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.

So is everyone else Terry, but as the old saying goes, "good things happen to those who wait."