Rafael Montero, a former top prospect with the New York Mets, pitched extremely well on Monday. Could he be here to stay?
It wasn’t that long ago when Rafael Montero was expected to be one of the New York Mets top pitching prospects while he was working his way up to the big leagues through the Mets minor league system. Back in 2013, Montero started for the World Team in the Futures Game which happened to be held at Citi Field. Also, at the time, Montero was expected to be better than
However, it is now 2016 and Montero has still not been able to cement himself as a big league starting pitcher. He has spent the past few seasons at both the big league and minor league levels but has struggled mightily at times.
Montero has had limited action with the big league roster the past two seasons and his ERA was never lower than 4.00. His WHIP was always higher than 1.35. Even though he has never appeared in more than 10 games in a big league season, just a small sample of what Montero could do at the big league level has not worked in his favor.
2016 may have possibly been his worst big league season yet.
Before making his first start of the season on Monday night against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field, Montero was pitching in Double-A Binghamton as he was struggling mightily in Triple-A Las Vegas this season.
After Montero appeared in two games out of the bullpen with the Mets back in April and allowed three earned runs in just 2.1 innings pitched, the Mets sent Montero back to Triple-A Las Vegas. However, Montero seemed to get even worse after getting sent down to Las Vegas as he made 16 starts there and went 4-6 with a 7.20 ERA along with 68 strikeouts and 40 walks.
Then, the Mets decided to send Montero down to Double-A, hoping he could refind his confidence and it seems like he has the past few weeks while pitching in a more pitching friendly environment in Binghamton. With Binghamton, Montero made eight starts and went 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA along with 38 strikeouts and 19 walks.
So, with Montero pitching much better in Double-A and the Mets needing someone to start Monday night’s game against the Miami Marlins because Terry Collins wanted to skip Jacob deGrom this time around the rotation, the Mets brought in Montero from Binghamton to make the spot start against one of the best pitchers in the game, Jose Fernandez.
In this game, Montero looked very solid and helped keep the Mets in the game, which they eventually won 2-1. Montero lasted five innings and didn’t allow a run while only giving up two hits. He did have a hard time finding the strike zone at times (six walks) but luckily for him, that did not come back to bite the Mets.
Even though this was only supposed to be a spot start for Montero, it could be possible that Montero could get some starts with the big league team before the end of the season. Despite working his way in and out of trouble throughout most of his start, the bottomline is that Montero was able to keep his team in the game and helped the Mets towards a big win over a team that this team is currently chasing in the NL Wild card hunt.
Despite working his way in and out of trouble throughout most of his start, the bottomline is that Montero was able to keep his team in the game and helped the Mets towards a big win over a team that this team is currently chasing in the NL Wild card hunt.
With Matt Harvey done for the season, Zach Wheeler most likely not coming back before the end of the season, and Noah Syndergaard’s and Steven Matz’s bonespurs, it does open the door for Montero to make a few more starts before the end of this season.