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New York Mets Will Try Jacob DeGrom and Rafael Montero in Las Vegas Bullpen

May 4th, 2014 at 11:04 AM
By Mike Phillips

Sooner or later, the New York Mets are going to have a dilemma on their hands. The Mets have a full starting rotation at the moment, but they have a trio of pitchers in Triple-A who could probably contribute in the major leagues right now. The Las Vegas 51's rotation is headlined by Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, and Jacob DeGrom. All three starters have pitched well to begin the season. While Syndergaard will likely remain a starter, the Mets will give DeGrom and Montero some work out of the bullpen, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports.

'Rafael Montero' photo (c) 2014, slgckgc - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Rubin's report cites General Manager Sandy Alderson, who addressed reporters during the Mets' series with the Colorado Rockies in Denver. Alderson indicated that the Mets will likely use DeGrom and Montero out of the bullpen with Las Vegas soon. The bullpen use with the 51's could eventually pave the way for Montero and DeGrom to make their major league debuts as relievers. The bullpen usage could also allow the Mets to limit the innings for the youngsters, a process the Mets are using on all of their young pitchers.

Both Montero and DeGrom have pitched very well for the 51's. Montero is 3-1 with a 4.31 ERA in six starts, while DeGrom is 4-0 with a 1.89 ERA over his six starts. DeGrom, in particular, has been outstanding for Las Vegas in a hitter friendly Pacific Coast League. Assuming the Mets begin giving them some bullpen usage towards the end of the month, the pair could debut as relievers with the Mets towards the end of June.

This idea is actually a great strategy for the Mets. The Mets bullpen is a problem area right now, as the Mets are shaky towards the end of games. The Mets have been using Kyle Farnsworth as their closer, and while he has done well so far he may not hold the job for the entire season. The Mets could easily make room for one of the youngsters quickly by demoting seldom used Jose Valverde. An injury to a reliever could accelerate the process as well.

Using Montero and DeGrom as relievers also wouldn't preclude the Mets from using either player in the rotation in the future. The St. Louis Cardinals routinely debut their young pitchers in relief before transitioning them to the rotation, and they have had tremendous success developing pitchers. Using Montero and DeGrom as relievers could also give the bullpen a big shot in the arm for the Mets, and it could be a big difference if the Mets expect to be contenders this season.

Tags: Baseball, Jacob DeGrom, Las Vegas 51's, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Rafael Montero

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