Alderson: Montero Is A Long Shot To Be Promoted To Mets In 2013

An article by posted on June 15, 2013

Echoing what Terry Collins told reporters on Friday, Sandy Alderson told season ticket holders at Citi Field this morning, that Rafael Montero is a longshot to be promoted to the Mets this season. He cited an innings limit as the reason and said he’s currently about 70-80 innings away from being shutdown for the season.

Last season, Montero tossed just 122 innings and he is already at 73.1 innings this year.

Yesterday, Collins said that Montero may not debut in the majors this season for similar reasons and also because he felt the Mets’ rotation is performing well enough. He wished him well on his promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas.

“I hope Montero goes, and I hope he pitches very, very well there,” Collins said, referring to Las Vegas. “But you’re looking at a guy who last year pitched 120 innings. He’s going to get to that 150 mark pretty fast because he’s been getting deep into games in Binghamton. How many innings he’s going to have when you’re looking up in late August, or early or the middle of August, it could be a situation where he’s going to be spent anyway.”

Original Post 6/14

Mets pitching prospect Rafael Montero has been promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas. Montero was having a stellar season at Double-A Binghamton, where he was 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA and 0.915 WHIP. In 66.2 innings pitched, the control artist struck out 72 batters while walking just 10 batters. He will start on Sunday for Las Vegas.

Because Montero will pound the zone and exhibit such great command as he has throughout his pro career, his ability to pinpoint the location of his pitches should play very well at Vegas.

Last week, I asked Lynn Worthy, who covers the Binghamton Mets for the Press & Sun Bulletin, who has impressed him the most this season, and he had this to say about Montero:

The most impressive so far would have to be Rafael Montero because of the command he’s displayed. Cesar Puello’s recent play has made it a close call, but Montero has performed so well all season. While his stuff isn’t at the level of Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler, he has consistently demonstrated remarkable control beyond what I saw from either Harvey or Wheeler at this level.

It’s a very interesting question to consider how well Montero’s actual stuff translates to a major-league level. I’m not sure. I would tend to think his margin for error will be even smaller against those hitters. There could be a real possibility of him getting hit hard at times. This certainly isn’t an exact comparison, but Collin McHugh had tremendous success and command of multiple pitches in Binghamton and also pitched well at Triple-A. His first start in the big leagues was also stellar, but he has also been hit hard at times.

Montero’s command will be a big plus, and I do think he’s shown a strong ability to work through a lineup a second or third time and keep hitters off-balance. On several occasions he has racked up the majority of his strikeouts after the first time through the lineup. It will be interesting how he gets used if/when he does reach the big league level.

Great job here by Lynn, who provides some great insight.

Montero has been overshadowed by Zack Wheeler ever since the Mets acquired him. The young righthander has done nothing, but excel at each level where he was always among the most dominating pitchers in his league.

Earlier this week, the Mets promoted his teammate Jack Leathersich to Triple-A.

It’s obvious now that the front office is feeling the pressure to start advancing their best prospects after operating at a snail’s pace the last three seasons. I don’t like rushing prospects, but when they are pushing the envelope, a front office should recognize it and act on it. Look for Kevin Plawecki, Jayce Boyd, Noah Syndergaard and others to get the bump in the coming days.

(Photo credit: Gordon Donovan)

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