In an article today at the Daily News, Andy Martino said the Mets will promote Rafael Montero to the big league in the near future. The 23-year-old will reportedly serve as a reliever. Martino also spoke with people in the Mets organization, who gave him details on the team's plan for the prospect.
The plan consists of four phases. Initially, Montero will begin pitching out of the bullpen for Triple-A Las Vegas and familiarize himself with relieving duties. Once he feels comfortable, the Mets will call him up to serve the same role in the big leagues. The long-term outlook for Montero, however, still involves him being a starter. Once the Mets' bullpen situation stabilizes, the team will send Montero back to Las Vegas so he can lengthen out. Since his stint as a reliever would limit Montero's innings, the Mets hope to call him up again late in the season, this time as a starter.
It's fairly common now for teams to call up young arms and put them in the bullpen, with the most recent case being the Blue Jays and top prospect Marcus Stroman. Adam Wainwright would be the perfect scenario for this plan to mirror, but cases abound of starters-turned-relievers falling short of expectations, as with Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and, to a certain extent, Neftali Feliz.