Rafael Montero has been diagnosed with a complete tear of the UCL in his pitching elbow, and is likely headed for Tommy John surgery, the Mets announced today. Montero figures to miss the entire 2018 season.
It has been a rough journey for the 27-year-old right-hander, who many believed should not have made the team out of spring training, due to how much he had struggled. Montero had allowed nine earned runs and 13 runs overall in just 9.0 innings this spring, yielding 12 hits, six walks, and a hit batter against just 45 batters faced. This comes after a 2017 season in which he posted a 5.52 ERA in 119.0 innings.
If the Mets had chosen to option Montero to the minors, he would have needed to pass through waivers first, and may have been claimed by another organization. But now he will have to be placed on the major league disabled list, which means the Mets cannot option or designate him, and he will recieve an MLB salary the entire year.
The Mets will likely place Montero on the 60-day disabled list, opening up a spot on the 40-man roster. The spot could be taken by a position player like Phil Evans, or perhaps another pitcher like Matt Purke, Drew Smith, or Corey Oswalt.