Amazin' Avenue reader Chris Blessing is now prospecting for Bullpen Banter, and he's updated his report on Rafael Montero, which first appeared here. It's good news that Blessing got to see Montero again, because his opinion of the young righty improved upon a second viewing.
The first time Blessing saw Montero, he saw way too much of an "ugly Slurve" and not enough of his slider and changeup. What he was left with was a 90-92 mph fastball, and even if Montero commanded the pitch well, that's not enough to be more than a bullpen arm. The second viewing left him more optimistic:
The second start was much better. While the line score wasn’t as pretty as the first game, (giving up 2 runs, 7 hits, a walk and a home run while striking out six) the outlook was much better. The slurvy looking pitch was gone as the go-to secondary pitch, replaced by a slider that he threw sparingly in April. He still didn’t showcase his changeup like I would have liked him to. However, the pitch looked relatively good in my limited exposure to it, leaving me with thinking the Mets were having him work on less refined secondary pitches.
Blessing goes on to say that the slider is a legit second pitch with movement in two planes, and that what he saw of the changeup gave him hope that Montero could be a middle-of-the-rotation starter. Of course, the fastball velocity isn't great, but his command sounds like it is, and if we've learned anything from this year's staff, it's that there's no such thing as too much pitching depth.