After making just four starts, the Mets demoted Rafael Montero on Saturday to make room for Buddy Carlyle on the roster. With Montero back in Triple-A Las Vegas, Daisuke Matsuzaka will enter the starting rotation.
On its face, demoting Montero in order to make room for a fresh arm after the Mets bullpen was overworked is completely understandable.
However, it’s likely that Montero’s demotion will not be a brief one.
Prior to being called up, it was noted that the Mets might eventually return Montero (or Jacob deGrom) to the minor leagues for a month or so in order to prevent Super 2 status.
With Montero not immediately distinguishing himself in the big league rotation (posting a 5.40 ERA and 1.60 WHIP), the Mets had an excuse to demote him – and they took it.
In Montero’s four starts, he had two solid outings and two poor ones – something that’s to be expected for a 23-year-old getting his first taste of the majors.
With Dillon Gee on the disabled list with a strained lat and Noah Syndergaard likely still weeks away from a promotion to the Mets, the club had a chance to stick with Montero until one of them was ready while allowing him to mature.
Instead, they opted to return Montero to Triple-A, where he has nothing left to prove.
Montero struggled with his command both in Triple-A Las Vegas (where the conditions make it hard to grip the baseball properly) and in the majors.
It would’ve been advantageous for both the Mets and Montero for him to work through his uncharacteristic command issues in the majors, not in Las Vegas.