Ernest Dove - Might Rafael Montero Open the Season in the Rotation?


  Well, it's still December. Sandy Alderson and Company are reportedly to remain quite the rest of the year.  However, there was a recent report stating the possibility of having Matt Harvey seemingly remain on the DL to open the season, and then perhaps light up Citi Field (sounds a little publicity-ish to me) by making his début on the home field the second week of the season.

  So this got met thinking.  Again, all we can do in December is continue to project, guess and speculate about everything.  Why not think about the options, should Harvey begin the season on the DL.  As was the case to open 2014, the 2015 season seemingly has one particular pitcher who remains the first call-up/starter option once again.  To me, his name is Rafael Montero. 

  Yes, there is absolutely a chance that the organization might have Montero join the already solid bullpen.  However, there also remains the chance that a second lefty, and/or a quick return of Parnell, might see Montero return to the desert and continue his progress as a starting pitcher.  That being said, if we also (yay December) simply guess that one of Colon, Niese or Gee will be traded off, a Harvey DL stint, even with an early off day to start the season, might afford the Mets an opportunity to have someone else temporarily enter the rotation for a very early 'spot start'.

  There may of course be other options out there.  I'm sure everyone's favorite name to mention would be Noah Syndergaard.  However, I just don't see him pitching for the Mets in the spring time months.  As has been the case is recent years, I seem to recall a few top prospects, including Zack Wheeler, have absolutely solid spring appearances, only to still head straight to AAA to open the season.  We can argue and speculate the reasons for it, which include the two obvious of:  not ready yet, versus the dreaded not until after super 2 foolishness.

  Perhaps others can be considered.  Carlos Torres is still on this team. Torres still has recent experience as not only a reliever, but also as a starter/spot starter.  The team can also quickly promote someone in which they are simply not concerned about super 2 status, such as a Mazzoni type.  However, Mazzoni is coming off an injury plagued season, and he too, unless an absolute stellar spring leads to a possible bullpen role, shoulda-coulda-woulda be a candidate to start the season in the Vegas rotation.

  This once again leads me back to Montero, who finished the season strong as a starter.  The issues were about giving up the long ball, and also seemingly forgetting about what got him here, his control, and ability to hit the strike zone consistently.  But, again, he put up a couple of solid 'quality starts' to end 2014, and he remains listed as a top 10 prospect in this organization. 

  I remain a Montero fan.  I'd love to simply be a 'homer' and try comparing him to a Pedro Martinez type guy, but its never easy, appropriate or even logical to compare unproven guys to legit solid major leaguers with a decade plus full of experience and success.

  Even my fellow Mack's Mets writers have discussed at length (I'm looking at you Mack) the solid option of adding Montero to an already good looking bullpen, and seemingly using the Cardinals mode of operation to add as many young quality arms as possible to form a scary relief crew.

  However, we have also randomly suggested a possible option of Montero being a spot starter/piggy back starter for Harvey anyway.  Sooooooo why not squeeze Montero in the rotation, and then on that next 5th day, simply insert Harvey Day into the equation, and have Montero be ready to pitch as many innings as needed on that day, and so on and so on?

  So, what say you people.  Factoring in all kinds of scenarios, rumors, projections and trades, what are your thoughts on Montero getting his shot in April?


Reese Kaplan said...

I think that once they clear a roster spot by dispensing of one of the "Available for best offer" 3, then he will join Carlos Torres in the pen with Bobby Parnell in extended spring training.

Mack Ade said...

I feel sorry for Montero.

He basically has done nothing wrong and put up the best stats in the PCL last year.

I don't think there is any chance that the Mets clear enough starters for a rotation spot for Montero out of camp. Harvey, Wheeler, and deGrom are set. There are two more spots for Colon, Niese, and Gee.

Please put Montero in the pen

Hobie said...

Given that:
A. I like Mack's piggy-back-with-Harvey for a couple of months, and
B. I don't think there will be a market for Colon/Niese/Gee until July

My quandary is:
C. Montero every 5th day after Harvey for inn 6, 7 & 8 (Niese the 2nd lefty in the pen), or
D. NIESE piggy-backed with Harvey & Montero on call


Mack Ade said...

It seems to me that Montero's 2015 future is 100% based on at least one Mets starter being moved.

I don't care if he goes 5-G, 30-IP, 0.00 in spring training... there still wouldn't be any place for him.

We'll have to wait this one out.

Thomas Brennan said...

I am not going to try to do so, but I imagine there are years in Met history where Montero might have been their best or second best starting pitcher. In 2015, welcome to the logjam, Rafael.

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