The Mets demoted right-hander Rafael Montero to Triple-A Las Vegas today after he gave up four runs (three earned) over 3 2/3 innings last night against the Phillies. According to Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star-Ledger, Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said this afternoon the move was made out of “necessity” because the bullpen was stretched thin in their 14-inning loss last night. The team has called up right-hander Buddy Carlyle to take Montero’s place on the active roster.
The Mets called up Montero and Jacob deGrom from Triple-A earlier this month after Jenrry Mejia was moved to the bullpen and Dillon Gee was placed on the DL with a lat strain. While deGrom has pitched well, Montero has been a little shaky. The 23-year-old struck out 10 batters and allowed just one run in six innings against the Diamondbacks last Sunday, but he has allowed 12 earned runs on 21 hits (including five home runs) and 11 walks in 20 innings across his first four major league starts.
Montero figures to get another shot before long, perhaps as soon as he’s eligible to return, but Daisuke Matsuzaka will take his place in the starting rotation next Wednesday against the Cubs.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.