Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Mets plan to call up highly- touted right-hander Rafael Montero to make his major league debut on Wednesday against the New York Yankees at Citi Field.
Montero, one of the Mets' top pitching prospects, went 4-1 with a 3.67 ERA in eight starts with Triple-A Las Vegas this year. In 24 starts at the Triple-A level over the last two seasons, the 23-year-old Montero posted a 9-5 record with a 3.25 ERA. He struck out 119 batters in 130 1/3 innings.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson made the informal announcement prior to Monday's game against the Yankees saying, "We think he's ready now,"
A corresponding roster move will be announced when the move is official.
The move to bring up Montero follows the Mets calling up fellow prospect Jacob deGrom on Monday. The 25-year-old right-hander went 4-0 with a 2.58 ERA over seven starts at Las Vegas this season. However, unlike Montero, deGrom will be used out of the bullpen.
Montero will take the rotation spot of Jenrry Mejia, who was re-assigned to the bullpen after being ineffective in a starting role. Mejia, also one of the Mets' young arms, began the season in the rotation after beating out veteran Daisuke Matsuzaka in the spring.
Mejia went 3-0 with a lofty 5.06 ERA in seven starts. While his record wasn't bad, he was having trouble going deep into games, often hitting the 100-pitch mark in the fifth inning. He could be considered for the closer role as the season moves on.
Mejia did pick up the win in Monday's 9-7 win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, working 1 1/3 innings.
The Mets still have one more highly regarded prospect in Triple-A in right- hander Noah Syndergaard. In eight starts with Las Vegas, Syndergaard is 4-1 with a 3.92 ERA this season. He has 46 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings.
Syndergaard could be called up in June.