While Rafael Montero has only made six starts in his young major league career, it seems like we’ve been talking about him for a while. With other dominant young arms in the Mets farm system, Montero is often the forgotten man. Yesterday, he reminded us how he pitched to a 2.63 ERA over four seasons in the minor leagues and why he shouldn’t be the forgotten man on the Mets.
On Sunday, Montero was dazzling. He went 7.1, striking out six and walking just two. The Cubs scattered five hits and just a single run against him as he got the no decision. What really worked for Montero on Sunday was his aggressiveness. He went right after batter after batter. Even when he fell behind in counts, he came back firing strikes, mixing up his speeds and using all of his pitches.
“We had heard his changeup was outstanding, and today he showed it” Terry Collins said after the game (Jorge Arangure Jr, NY Times). “He showed great use of it, great location with it. I thought he pitched an outstanding game. It was really good for him to have a game up here where he knows he can be successful.”
It remains to be seen where Montero fits into the Mets future. It seems that he’s a better fit as a starter and with Matt Harvey‘s imminent return, spots in the rotation are getting harder and harder to earn. Montero seems like a he’ll end up as a trade chip. Sandy Alderson has a lot of work to do this off-season and great performances like the one Montero turned in on Sunday will make his job all that much easier.