Rafael Montero, whose major league debut may be sooner rather than later, was brilliant Friday night for Triple-A Las Vegas.
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
Montero didn’t allow a hit over 5.1 innings of work, during which he threw 98 pitches. He walked three and struck out five, lowering his season ERA to 3.67.
While pitching in the hitter-friendly PCL, Montero had struggled – relatively speaking – during his prior four starts, giving up 12 earned runs over 19 innings.
Montero is ready for the major leagues. The only question remaining is whether he’ll make his debut as a starter or reliever.
With the uncertainty surrounding Jenrry Mejia, it would make sense for Montero to replace him in the rotation if Mejia winds up in the bullpen.
However, there have been reports that Montero may debut with the Mets as a reliever before transitioning back to starting.
Frankly, if Mejia is removed from the rotation, it should be to make room for someone like Montero – not Daisuke Matsuzaka.
If Mejia remains in the rotation, using Montero as a reliever at the outset would be palatable.
Next up for Las Vegas:
Noah Syndergaard gets the start for Las Vegas on Saturday night at 10:05 PM.