rafael montero mets

Mets calling up prospect Rafael Montero, shifting Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen

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General manager Sandy Alderson just announced that 23-year-old pitching prospect Rafael Montero is on his way to New York to join the Mets’ rotation for the Subway Series against the Yankees.

He’s scheduled to start Wednesday versus Masahiro Tanaka at Citi Field after posting a 3.67 ERA and 41/18 K/BB ratio in 42 innings at Triple-A. While not considered quite an elite prospect because he lacks overpowering raw stuff, Montero was excellent between Double-A and Triple-A last season with a 2.78 ERA and 150/35 K/BB ratio in 155 innings at age 22 and projects as a potential mid-rotation starter long term.

And in a corresponding move the Mets have decided to shift Jenrry Mejia from the rotation to the bullpen after giving the 24-year-old right-hander a grand total of 18 starts spread over parts of four different seasons to “prove” himself as a starter.

Mejia has a 4.75 ERA in those starts, compared to a 3.23 ERA in 32 career relief appearances, so perhaps he’s better off in the bullpen, but it would have been nice to see him get a little more of an extended opportunity before the shift to a 70-inning role was made at such a young age.

Mets’ Neil Walker expected to undergo season-ending back surgery

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: Neil Walker #20 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.

If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.

Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.

Video: Stephen Cardullo celebrates his birthday by hitting a grand slam

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 31:  Stephen Cardullo #65 of the Colorado Rockies watches his first career Major League home run during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on August 31, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.

In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.

Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.