Pitcher Rafael Montero showed a lot of promise for the New York Mets in the minor leagues. Unfortunately, that success hasn’t translated to the big leagues, and it’s only a matter of time before Montero is on a plane headed for triple-A Las Vegas.
Montero was a surprising success in the Mets’ farm system, allowing only 19 home runs in 390 innings. He only walked 85 batters in that same span, which is especially impressive when juxtaposed with his home run numbers. There aren’t many consistent strike-throwers in baseball who aren’t also prone to giving up the long ball.
Montero definitely had the Mets’ front office salivating, but their enthusiasm may have been premature. Since joining the club, Montero has been a substantial disappointment. In 10.3 innings with the Mets, Rafael has allowed three homers and walked six batters. Not surprisingly, the opposition has scored eight runs against him.
He hasn’t shown any consistency throwing strikes and falls behind almost every hitter he faces. This drastically inflates his pitch count, making it difficult for him to throw deep into games. The Mets, more than anything, need their starters to give them innings. This is because their bullpen, a major offseason concern, has been a complete and utter disaster. The bullpen isn’t going to get any better, so the Mets need their staff to step it up.
Montero may not have effectively answered the call, but the Mets still have faith in his future with the club. There’s no reason to give up on him yet, especially after such a small sample size.
Simply put, he needs more time in triple-A. As much as the Mets were hoping he would make a splash, it’s obvious that this 23-year-old isn’t quite ready for big league competition. With Dillon Gee almost ready to return from the DL after straining his right lat muscle, Montero has probably pitched his last big league game for at least a few months – or until the next Mets starter gets hurt.
It’s never a bad idea to take a look at your young pitchers. Even if they struggle, at least you know what they need to work on and proper guidance may be offered. This type of guidance is best served in the minors, and that is likely where Montero is headed.