On Saturday, the New York Mets demoted one of their top pitching prospects, Rafael Montero, to Triple-A Las Vegas after his latest start against the Philadelphia Phillies, when he gave up four runs in less than four innings of work.
Montero didn’t have a ton of success on the major league level with the team, so this made the move a bit easier for the Mets. Often thought to be the most MLB-ready of the pitching prospects, Montero was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA.
But maybe the most shocking development of his brief stint with the Mets was that he walked 11 hitters in 20 innings of work. He is known to be a pitcher who dominates and pounds the strike zone, but he wasn’t able to do it against major league hitters. Montero completely abandoned his changeup as well, which was one of his more effective pitches in the minor leagues. Maybe he just wasn’t as ready as we all thought and there is nothing wrong with that.
By going back to Las Vegas, he will be able to work out the kinks and work on his command to prepare for his next call-up, which will be soon. I would expect Montero back up to the Mets in about a month because the Mets would probably like to avoid Montero becoming a Super 2 player after the 2016 season.
In his stead, the Mets will turn to Daisuke Matsuzaka in the rotation. Matsuzaka has been lights out in the bullpen so it should be interesting to see if that success translates as a starter.
If nothing else, Montero proved that he could have success at the major league level. He just needs a bit more seasoning, and he will get that in Las Vegas. Something tells me that Montero will be better prepared and more effective when we next see him don a Mets uniform.