As far as stages go, the Subway Series is a hell of place to make a debut.
That is what faces Yankees right-hander Chase Whitley and Mets right Jacob deGrom, both of whom will make their first major league starts in the series finale Thursday night at Citi Field.
"The stage is always big, your first game in the big leagues," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said prior to Wednesday night's game. "I don't care where you're at."
Whitley was promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after CC Sabathia was placed on the DL with inflammation in the right knee Monday. Girardi said Sabathia saw Dr. James Andrews, who drained fluid from the knee.
In six starts — seven games overall — Whitley was 3-2 with a 2.39 ERA.
"He was in spring training for us," Girardi said. "We used him mostly as a reliever. [He] had a very good changeup; it's a plus changeup that he features. That will be an important pitch for him.
"The big thing for me, with him, is that as much as he can, get through the first inning to calm himself down. I don't care who you are, I don't care how highly touted you are, the first time you walk onto a major league field, there [are] a lot of emotions, a lot of adrenaline."
Whitley's counterpart, deGrom, was called up after the Mets learned Dillon Gee would have to be put on the DL with a strained right lat. DeGrom was 4-0 with a 2.58 ERA in seven starts at Triple-A Las Vegas.
"[deGrom's] here," Collins said. "We wanted to see him [have] an opportunity to pitch and we're going to do it."
Collins and general manager Sandy Alderson believes deGrom will make two starts as Gee recuperates. Collins said Gee told him he was unsure when the injury occurred, other than the righty had to make some adjustments in order to get through the first inning of his last start, a 5-4 loss to the Phillies on May 10. Gee will receive medication and treatment, and will be re-evaluated following the weekend series in Washington.
The injuries to Sabathia and Gee add to New York baseball's combined MASH unit. Carlos Beltran has been diagnosed with a bone spur in his right elbow while Travis d'Arnaud was not available to Collins due to "symptoms" after being struck with a backswing Tuesday night.
"He has not had it yet," Alderson said, when asked if d'Arnaud had undergone a concussion test. "He will. He's had some symptoms. The concern is that they may be concussion-related. So we'll run tests and see where he is.
"The protocol is immediate reaction, and the passage of a period of time. That's followed by some exercise. He had a light headache [Tuesday] night, [and then it] went away. He was fine, came in did some morning exercise and there were some issues. Right now we're in the middle of that protocol. The next step is to run a test."
Girardi said Beltran took left-handed swings before the game.
Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.