ATLANTA -- Manager Terry Collins said that top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler "understood the whole situation" surrounding his demotion to the minor leagues -- a strictly procedural move that is only temporary.
"He's going to be back," Collins said Wednesday. "He's going to pitch when his turn comes up."
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Wheeler will be recalled in time to pitch on Tuesday against the White Sox in Chicago. But until then, he will be with Triple-A Las Vegas, where he is expected to throw at least one bullpen session for pitching coach Randy St. Claire.
The 23-year-old righthander tossed six scoreless innings on Tuesday night to win his big- league debut in the nightcap of the Mets' doubleheader against the Braves. But by rule, the Mets can recall Wheeler without waiting the typical 10 days, all because he was called up as the 26th man for a doubleheader.
Because Wheeler pitched on Tuesday, he would have been unavailable to the Mets, who gave his roster spot to a player who can contribute in the meantime.
Six-man rotation in offing
With Wheeler in the fold, Collins said the Mets will use a six-man configuration at least one more turn though the starting rotation. "We'll see where everything fits after that," Collins said.
Atchison goes on DL
Righthander Scott Atchison was placed on the disabled list (right groin soreness) and outfielder Andrew Brown was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas.
No. 1 draft pick Dominic Smith signed for a bonus of $2.6 million. Smith is working out at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The Mets have signed each of their first 14 draft picks.
Super sub Satin
Josh Satin took grounders at third base. With Justin Turner on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, Collins said Satin likely will step in when David Wright needs a break.