Phillies hope Zack Wheeler’s trip to the injured list is quick – NBC Sports

Phillies hope Zack Wheeler's trip to the injured list is quick - NBC Sports

As the Phillies get one of their stars back, another goes down.

Zack Wheeler, the team’s leading starting pitcher, is headed to the 15-day injured list with right forearm tendinitis, the club announced about an hour before Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the injury was not serious and he hoped the right-hander would miss only two starts.

Wheeler was scheduled to go Friday night against Pittsburgh. Bailey Falter will now get that start. Bryce Harper will come off the injured list for that game after missing two months with a broken left thumb.

While Harper won the National League MVP award last season, Wheeler led the majors in innings pitched (213 1/3) and finished second in the league’s Cy Young race. His loss is great, because he plays a 3.07 ERA in 23 starts.

In an 18-start span from April 28 to August 9, Wheeler had a 1.97 ERA and a .206 opponents’ batting average. During his last two starts, both losses to the New York Mets, he gave up 10 earned runs, 14 hits and five walks in 11 1/3 innings. After both starts, the pitcher talked about how good he felt.

“I can’t say this had anything to do with the last two outings, no,” Dombrowski said.

Dombrowski downplayed the seriousness of Wheeler’s issue and indicated that the trip to the IL was made out of caution and prudence. No MRI is scheduled.

“You get to this time of the year with any player or pitcher and it’s something that they’re not 100 percent,” Dombrowski said. “He dealt with this as probably every pitcher on our staff dealt with something.

“During the last little period, maybe it bothered him a little more. But he totally felt like he could take the ball and go out there and pitch (Friday), but when we talked about it, we felt like we’d much rather hit this thing and not have him come out and deal with it.

“He is not happy. He would rather have taken the ball. He also understands that this is the smart thing to do. There is still a long time left.”

Wheeler is the second major Phillies pitcher to go on the IL this week, joining closer Seranthony Dominguez, who has triceps tendinitis. The Phils hope Dominguez will be back in early September.

Wheeler’s assignment to the 15-day IL has been rescheduled to Monday. He would be eligible to return on Sept. 6, which would mean he would miss just two starts.

The Phillies sure hope he’s not out much longer than that. He is crucial to the team’s chances of clinching a postseason berth and eventually winning a series if successful.

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