Rafael Montero‘s struggles have continued. That’s a phrase that has been used multiple times since he made his major league debut in 2014. Montero has just never been able to establish himself in Major League Baseball and just when he begins to take a step forward, he falls back into his usual mediocrity.
June 15 began what seemed to be Montero’s season turnaround. He pitched three perfect innings accompanied by three strikeouts against the first-place Washington Nationals. That relief outing combined with his next six games (four starts) resulted in his first win of the season as well as a 3.62 ERA, 1.268 WHIP, and 32 strikeouts across 32 1/3 innings. That’s not really impressive for a hot streak, but getting any type of consistency from Montero was positive.
Montero produced acceptable results from June 15 to July 23; a little over a month. However, on July 28, Montero went 4 2/3 innings and gave up three hits, five walks, and five runs. In his next start on August 3, he gave up 10 hits, one walk, and four runs in 5 2/3 innings.
On August 9, he had a chance against the Texas Rangers to put an end to this most recent cold streak, but he just couldn’t. He made his shortest start since May 25, as he went a measly three innings. It took him 87 pitches to get nine outs. He gave up five hits, three walks, and four runs while picking up his eighth loss of the season.
The Mets came into 2017 with what was expected to be one of the best rotations throughout all of baseball. After all, their rotation produced the third-best ERA (3.61) in all of baseball last season. Not only is that not true in 2017, but it is very far from the truth. After 111 games in 2017, Mets starters have combined for a 5.11 ERA which ranks 27th out of the 30 teams.
Montero is a big part of that as he is now 1-5 as a starter with a 6.40 ERA, 1.717 WHIP, and 46 strikeouts in 45 innings. He has been a liability in the bullpen too as he’s 0-3 with 5.31 ERA, 1.918 WHIP, and 22 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings. The Mets are 4-19 in games that Montero has pitched.
Montero really has no place on the Mets and should not be apart of their future. During this year of injuries and poor performances in the pitching department, Montero was given yet another chance. However, once again he has failed. He only has a little over a month and a half left of the season to prove himself, but barring any miracles it appears time has run out for Montero.