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Collins: Mets going to six-man starting rotation

Terry Collins watches batting practice before a game

Terry Collins watches batting practice before a game against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. (April 19, 2013) Credit: AP

WASHINGTON -- With innings limits bearing down on Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, the Mets will switch to a six-man rotation, manager Terry Collins said following an 11-0 drubbing of the Nationals on Friday afternoon.

Jenrry Mejia will slide into the six-man rotation, his reward for tossing seven shutout innings against the Nationals in his first start of the season. Mejia, 23, struck out seven while showing renewed life in his fastball.

Harvey (8-2, 2.23) will start the nightcap against the Nationals. He has already thrown 137 innings in a season in which he likely won't stray too far past 200. Wheeler is up to 107 innings between the Mets and Triple-A Las Vegas after finishing with 149 for all of last season.

Collins has been searching for ways to manage the worklaods of both Harvey and Wheeler. A lack of depth had previously put a six-man rotation out of reach. However, Mejia's emergence after battling elbow issues this season changed that equation.

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