Feb 28, 2014; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Rafael Montero (50) throws against the Washington Nationals in spring training action at Tradition Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Rafael Montero to rotation, Jenrry Mejia to bullpen

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson announced on Monday that Jenrry Mejia would be moving to the bullpen, with Rafael Montero coming up from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place in the starting rotation.

One of the Mets top prospects, Montero, 23, has been pitching well for Las Vegas. He tossed 5.1 no-hit innings in his last start.

Mejia, 24, had struggled in his last three starts, prompting the Mets to make a move.

When Montero is added to the 25-man roster, the Mets will have to make a corresponding move. Jose Valverde seems like the likeliest option to be subtracted.

Thoughts:

Rafael Montero’s upcoming major league debut is exciting, but the fact that it comes at the expense of Mejia being shifted to the bullpen makes the excitement a bit muted.

Mejia was spectacular during five starts in 2013, and displayed the same upside during three of his first four starts in 2014.

However, the Mets opted to make a quick decision regarding Mejia after his shaky last three starts.

If Mejia is utilized properly in the bullpen – given a defined role and used with regularity – he should be able to excel. Still, it’s disappointing that he wasn’t given more time to prove himself as a starter.

As far as Montero is concerned, it’s clear that he’s ready for the majors.

Using a fastball that sits in the low-90s and touches the mid-90s, workable secondary offerings, and impeccable control, Montero has worked his way through the minors in a flash.

Most view Montero as a middle-of-the-rotation starter with the upside to be a bit better.

Starting Wednesday at Citi Field, Montero will get to show the Mets what he’s made of at the major league level.

 

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Tags: Jenrry Mejia New York Mets Rafael Montero

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