Reliever Scott Atchison, who began the Double-A Binghamton portion of his rehab tour on Wednesday night, could rejoin the Mets by the weekend.
Terry Collins said the final hurdle for Atchison will be pitching back-to-back days, which could be achieved tonight, weather-permitting, when the B-Mets play at Trenton. Atchison tossed a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts last night against the Yankees' Double-A affiliate.
He has been on the disabled list since experiencing finger numbness during a May 13 appearance at St. Louis.
Atchison experienced more numbness during a rehab appearance with Class A St. Lucie on May 25, prompting him to get opinions from Mets doctors as well as Dr. James Andrews. Neither recommended surgery, according to the Mets, who describe Atchison's numbness as the result of elbow inflammation pressing on a nerve.
Terry Collins indicated that Zack Wheeler likely would be capped at 85 pitches in his final Triple-A start, which comes at 10:05 p.m. ET on Thursday in Las Vegas against Tacoma, the top affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
"That way we know he's thrown enough, but not overdone it," Collins said.
Wheeler will be pitching with an extra day of rest tonight. The Mets preferred that to Wheeler having pitched yesterday and then going into Tuesday's major league debut in Atlanta with the extra day. Hard-throwing pitchers can have too much extra strength with additional rest and lose some control.