An update on Zack Wheeler's next start


Zack Wheeler, dealing with a nasty fingernail issue, will not start for the Phillies Monday in Miami.

“Our fear is if he loses the nail, it could be the rest of the season,” manager Joe Girardi said after the Phillies’ 12-6 win Saturday.

Wheeler played catch Saturday and things appear to be headed in the right direction, but he is instead penciled in for the Mets series Tuesday through Thursday at Citizens Bank Park.

This has been a chronic fingernail issue for Wheeler — and if you’re one of the few left questioning it, just please consider the pressure placed upon a finger throughout a 100-pitch start. It ripped open earlier this week after it got caught on his pants.

Wheeler built up to 90 feet and made 60 throws altogether Saturday, the day he was initially slated to start against the Marlins.

"It came out pretty well," Girardi said. He added that the decision to push Wheeler back Monday was the team’s, not necessarily what Wheeler wants.

If Wheeler starts Tuesday, he can make a maximum of two more regular-season starts thereafter. He has pitched incredibly well in the first season of a five-year, $118 million contract. In eight starts, he is 4-0 with a 2.47 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.

Girardi did not declare his starting pitching plans for Sunday's doubleheader beyond saying that Zach Eflin would start one of the games. Spencer Howard also exited with an injury Saturday night so the Phillies' pitching staff is in flux as they wait to see if he'll have to miss time with shoulder stiffness.