PHILADELPHIA – Phillies pitcher Zack Wheeler was put on the 15-day injured list with right forearm tendinitis Thursday, a move that came three hours after Philadelpia announced slugger Bryce Harper was set to return from a broken thumb.
Wheeler, 32, is 11-7 with a 3.07 ERA in 23 starts. The right-hander finished second in the NL Cy Young Award race behind Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes last year after throwing the most innings in the majors at 213 1/3.
“He’s not happy,” Phillies president Dave Dombrowski said. “But I think he understands that this is the wise thing to do.”
In his last outing on Saturday, Wheeler hit 97 mph on the radar gun, but struggled with command in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs and threw 106 pitches in an 8-2 loss to the New York Mets, his former team.
“Just like a lot of guys, he’s dealt with some of these issues in the past,” Dombrowski said. “He dealt with it last year. So it is one of those things. that pitchers deal with it. He’s been dealing with this. It is one of those things that maybe has bothered him a little more.”
Left-hander Bailey Falter is expected to make the start on Friday night against Pittsburgh in Wheeler’s place.
Dombrowski said Wheeler would miss two starts – against the Pirates and next week on Philadelphia’s trip to Arizona and San Francisco. No MRI has been scheduled to examine Wheeler’s forearm, a sign that the Phillies are not overly concerned about the severity of the injury.
“We felt that it was better to deal with this right now and to get it over with,” Dombrowski said.
The Phillies are second in the NL wild-card race. Harper, the reigning NL MVP, is coming off the IL on Friday after being sidelined in late June when a pitch broke his left thumb.
Phillies pitcher Wheeler on 15-day IL with forearm tendinitis originally appeared on NBCSports.com