This afternoon, Terry Collins said the Mets were officially switching to a six-man rotation in which R.A. Dickey will continue to pitch every fifth day. So in addition to Dickey, the Mets will use Johan Santana, Jon Niese, Chris Young, Matt Harvey, and Jeremy Hefner, all of whom will get extra rest between starts through the rest of the season.
Harvey has been told that he'll be capped at approximately 170 innings of work this year. He has thrown 132.1 innings between Triple-A Buffalo and his time with the Mets, and the Mets think the six-man rotation will allow Harvey to pitch through the end of the year without exceeding his cap.
Let's take a look at how the six-man rotation could look over the next couple of weeks, assuming Dickey pitches every fifth day, as reported, and not every fifth game.
Given that Young has been injury prone for the last several years and Santana is owed $25 million in 2013, it makes sense for both pitchers to get extra rest with the Mets far out of wild card contention. Limiting Harvey makes sense, too, since there's an innings limit on his season. It would have been nice to see Niese attempt to reach the 200-inning mark for the first time in his career, but he may not have reached it even if he were pitching on regular rest. Last but not least, Hefner will get an extended shot at proving he belongs on the Mets' 2013 Opening Day roster.
And Dickey, well, you never want to limit Dickey. He's the best.