New York Mets News

Mets plan for Rafael Montero to start on Friday

By Emmanuel Pepis
Apr 18, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Rafael Montero (50) pitches against against the Philadelphia Phillies during the tenth inning at Citi Field. Montero took the loss as the Phillies won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 18, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Rafael Montero (50) pitches against against the Philadelphia Phillies during the tenth inning at Citi Field. Montero took the loss as the Phillies won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Montero will take Syndergaard’s next turn in the rotation, but what happens beyond is a mystery.

A nightmare start to the season keeps getting worse. With Noah Syndergaard on the shelf, the New York Mets are planning to bring up Rafael Montero to start on Friday in the series opener against the Miami Marlins.

Syndergaard is now out of action for an indefinite amount of time through his own stubbornness and through lack of control from Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson. Even the fact that the season is only 24 games old doesn’t offer much hope for a team that is third worst in the National League in winning percentage ahead of only San Diego and San Francisco.

Montero was optioned to AAA Las Vegas on April 20 after getting rocked in six relief appearances. He gave up 16 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in 6.2 innings and opponents hit .485 off the 26-year old. The small silver lining is once he dropped down to Las Vegas, Montero pitched well in two outings.

In his 51s debut, Montero pitched 5.0 shutout innings while allowing just two hits against Sacramento. He followed that up in his last start on April 29 by striking out nine and allowing two runs on two hits over 5.1 innings against Albuquerque. However, Montero has not found nearly enough consistency at the big league level. In 30 appearances, he has a 5.51 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP.

The question now becomes what the long-term answer will be for the Mets. The confidence level in Montero filling in every fifth day won’t be high based on track record. Plus, Syndergaard is dealing with a similar injury that Steven Matz suffered two seasons ago. Matz missed nearly two months.

Whoever fills that spot should get comfortable at least for a little while. Matz is targeting a return in late May. Seth Lugo threw 20 pitches off a mound as reported by Jon Heyman. Still, Lugo’s return is not slated until at least the end of May.

Next: Noah Syndergaard to the disabled list.

What were high expectations before the season have crumbled in practically no time. All these recent developments may force the Mets to look at veteran outside options if there are any designs of trying to keep this season afloat.

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