Zack Wheeler will not return to the Phillies rotation Tuesday as expected. Interim manager Rob Thomson told reporters Friday that Wheeler is making progress, but is going to need a little more time. Wheeler went on the IL with forearm tendinitis and the Phillies had hoped he would return Tuesday for his next start.
“It’s feeling better and I am sure if this was a playoff game, he’d say, “Give me the ball,” said Thomson. “But he is still feeling it a little bit so we are going to wait a little bit and re-evaluate him on Monday or Tuesday.”
Thomson went on to say that he is not concerned by the delay and that it is more important for Wheeler to be fully ready before he makes his next start. Wheeler (11-7, 3.07) was not available for comment on the situation. The move was prompted when Wheeler reported some discomfort after playing catch at a distance of 90-feet. He had an MRI in San Francisco on Thursday and Thomson said it showed no structural damage and that Wheeler simply needed a little more time.
Bailey Falter (3-3, 4.08), who won both of the games he started in place of Wheeler and threw his best game as a manor leaguer his last time out, will stay in the rotation and start at home on Wednesday. Aaron Nola will go on normal rest and pitch Tuesday in the series against the Marlins.