There will be a time when Zack Wheeler’s promotion will bump out a member of the Mets’ starting rotation. The candidates are Dillon Gee, Wednesday’s starter, and Jeremy Hefner.

But as the countdown to Wheeler’s long-awaited debut ticks on, Mets manager Terry Collins said Wednesday that a decision will not be made for a full turn in the rotation. That is because Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Braves, which Wheeler will be a part of, will allow the Mets to carry six starting pitchers.

“You’re going to be asking somebody to come back early or we’re going to have to find a spot starter,” Collins said. “So what we’re going to do, most likely, when Zack comes, we would go with an extra pitcher for a turn so everybody can standby.

“If somebody so happens to get overworked or someone has a short outing, maybe he can come back earlier, but certainly we have no intention of jerking anybody out just at this time.”

By rule, the Mets can carry a 26th player for Tuesday’s doubleheader.
If it were Wheeler, the Mets could then have him start Tuesday without using a roster spot, giving the team until Wheeler's next start to make a roster move. But a source told The Star-Ledger the organization has not discussed having Wheeler be the 26th man. Therefore, a transaction will need to be made to make room for him.

Collins told The Star-Ledger the Mets have not determined which game of the doubleheader Wheeler would pitch. The decision, Collins explained, will be impacted by whether Thursday’s game is rained out.

If it is postponed, Matt Harvey’s start would be pushed back a day and he would not pitch the other game in Tuesday’s doubleheader. Gee would then be the day’s other starting pitcher.

Hinting that Wheeler is likely to pitch in the nightcap, Collins said teams usually elect to have the more experienced pitcher start the day game to save the bullpen for the second game.