Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler could start June 18 doubleheader vs. Braves

Zack Wheeler throws a live batting practice session Zack Wheeler throws a live batting practice session during spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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The Mets have set themselves up for an intriguing doubleheader in which Matt Harvey and top prospect Zack Wheeler pitch on the same day. Plans could change, but both are in line to pitch June 18 against the Braves.

Mets manager Terry Collins said Sunday that Harvey will stay on turn in the rotation despite leaving Saturday's game after seven innings with lower back tightness.

"Everything is fine," said Harvey, who insisted that his issue was resolved with treatment Saturday. "I woke up today and felt good. They told me that I'm starting on Thursday, so I'm ready to go."

That would put Harvey in line for the doubleheader along with Wheeler.

After one more minor- league start, a source said the Mets will have the highly touted righty make his major-league debut June 18.

If he remains on turn, Wheeler will be in line to make one more road start -- either against the Phillies or the White Sox -- before his Citi Field debut at the end of the month against the Nationals.

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Extra day for Marcum

Righthander Shaun Marcum will start Friday night with an extra day's rest. Marcum threw eight innings of relief in Saturday's 20-inning loss to the Marlins and experienced swelling in his pitching arm.

 

Nieuwenhuis returns

Kirk Nieuwenhuis likely will share centerfield duties with Juan Lagares, Collins said.

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"It feels great to be back," said Nieuwenhuis, who was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas when Rick Ankiel was designated for assignment. He arrived at 7:30 a.m. after taking a red-eye from Seattle.

 

Smith takes BP

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First-round draft pick Dominic Smith took batting practice with the Mets.

"It's kind of surreal now. Just taking it all in," said Smith, who flashed his smooth lefthanded swing and hit a few homers to rightfield. "I'm just happy to be here and I'm glad to call New York my new home."

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