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Brace Yourselves: Rafael Montero Will Make The Opening Day Roster

Believe it or not, there are just five pitchers who remain from the Mets 2015 Opening Day roster.  Those five pitchers are Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins, and of course, Rafael Montero.  That’s right, Montero was on the 2015 Opening Day roster, and in case you forgot, he was once again on the Opening Day roster last year.

And you know what?  Montero is going to be on the 2018 Mets Opening Day roster as well.

The Mets have given us a clear indication this will happen.  Right after the season, the team outrighted pitchers Erik Goeddel and Tyler Pill from the 40 man roster.  They claimed Burch Smith in the Rule 5 Draft, and he was immediately sent to the Kansas City Royals for cash.  To make room for Major League signings this offseason, the Mets designated Kevin McGowan, Chasen Bradford, and Josh Smoker for assignment.

Put another way, the Mets have had plenty of opportunities to extricate themselves of Montero, and they continuously refuse to do so whether it is out of stubbornness, hope, or really, just plain lunacy.  Fact is, while no Mets fans believe in him and his 5.38 ERA, the Mets still believe in him and want him here.

If the Mets truly do want to see their continued investment in Montero pay off for them, then the team is going to have to put him on the 40 man roster because he is out of options.  That means Montero gets one more last chance.  I’d list what chance number that is, but like most Mets fans, I’ve lost count.

This means, the Mets are going to have to hope Montero’s .376 BABIP last year was largely the result of a truly poor defensive team.  They will have to hope his being the second best starter on the team, Jason Vargas included, in not yielding barrels translates to success.  (Statcast).  They’re also going to have to hope, as noted by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, he continues to yield the fewest hard hit balls on this pitching staff.

Mostly, the team is going to have to hope Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland are part pitching coaches and part miracle workers.

If this does happen, and Montero FINALLY attacks the zone like he has shown in Double-A and below, the Mets may have something.  Their patience may finally be rewarded and, frankly, applauded.  However, it is much more likely we will see more of the same, which should create heat on Sandy Alderson because he parted with quality pitcher after quality pitcher in order to hold onto Montero.

Regardless of your opinion on Montero and the likelihood of his being successful, he’s going to be on the Opening Day roster.  There are bullpen spots open, and Montero is out of options.  At this point, we can only hope the stubborn refusal to DFA him will pay off.

17 thoughts on “Brace Yourselves: Rafael Montero Will Make The Opening Day Roster”

  1. Luis says:

    Montero, like Robles, cannot consistently locate on the edges of the plate, and as a result gets hammered when he throws too many balls in the middle. Not rocket science..Harvey was much the same the last two years..locationlocationlocation..If you can locate ( Hi Bartolo!!) you can pitch a loooong time..

    1. Gothamist says:

      I do not get the comparison between Robles. ??????

      He may have courage issues where he chickens out and does not trust his stuff and avoids the plate altogether like Montero but I not living in Texas I may be stupid but I see over 120 games and my issue, and I have not played organized ball as you may have done, is that Robles locating too throws often down Broadway (like batting practice then settles done more times than not) yet deflating the team instantly as he comes in on a close game, pitchers before pitching their guts out and within three pitches Robles gives up a HR with men on base.

  2. OldBackstop says:

    Yep, hard to cheer him being around.
    Interesting, though. two out of the ten most similar pitchers through Age 26 for Montero are Paul Wilson and……Dave Eiland.

    1. Gothamist says:

      I do not remember Paul Wilson as an undersized coward, but a high draft pick with significant injury(s) but NOT A COWARD LIKE MONTERO.

  3. Gothamist says:

    Though early, I did not watch Harvey to see if he used his pitches.
    I was alarmed at Rosario seeing few pitches and again not watching anything but select replay pitches by Matz on Daily News Life yesterday my sense he is testing the elbow and did not show his stuff yet. Yet, at 93 MPH if that is it … I am curious of what was that his velocity, pain free a couple years ago?

    1. OldBackstop says:

      Matz touched 97 in 2015, but the 93-94 mph sinker was his out pitch. Someone can correct me there.

      1. Gothamist says:

        I believe that Noah is commited to learning how to master pitching with velocity under 92 yet the Stephen Matz I know with far few innings would not at 93 project well as a starter or reliever in 2018. I may be completely wrong.

        How much is the Vargas signing about what we are seeing already.

        I even question bad backs…

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I’m not sure I can believe that with Thor with his opening up the Spring hitting 100 on the fun multiple times.

      2. Gothamist says:

        Does Harvey have to hit 98 to have an ERA under 4.00.
        He hit 96 today.
        I do not get why he can not excel with 96????

        Is it movement, spin, ability to throw secondary well or for strikes behind in the count, is it falling behind???

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Harvey has the other stuff to not need to sit at 98, at least he did prior to all of the surgeries

  4. Five Tool Ownership says:

    Let us be grateful that Dudes got the $3.5 M one year deal from KC…

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Royals fans should be happy

  5. Gothamist says:

    The Logan Morrison offer cane first and though the press release says Duda’s signing came first, I doubt it. LM, in my view was JC’s first choic.

  6. Five Tool Ownership says:

    The mystery that Harvey at 94-96 can not be a very good starter, de Grom with a bad back after an offseason in warm weather, Matz at 93, Noah still believing he needs >100 mph as his out pitch, Wheeler never had pitched ahead in the count, Lugo pitching with a partial tear (Tanaka did regress), Montero previously initimidated 2014-2017 by MLB hitters leaving just Gsellman,,,,

    Chris Flexen pitched two scoreless yestersday yet two pick ups from the Reed and Duda deals on Monday so so? Swarzak?

    Yet Grandy’s bounty, Rhames’s stats looked good.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Rhame may very well prove to be the least of the right handed relievers Sandy acquired last year

      1. Five Tool Ownership says:

        HRs allowed will be a deciding factor, bet on it!
        Yet the focus was not nor never strategized in March to May 2017 (via Jeffrey’s demands on SA) on higher rated prospects but the subsequent priority of salary relief in Aug/Sept 2017. I expect quite little of these prospects (high risk high reward) outside of the delivering of 2018 AAA bodies! I hope I am wrong!!!!

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I like the relievers. I just don’t know how high end they are.

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