Mets send Rafael Montero to Triple-A, will move Daisuke Matsuzaka into rotation

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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.

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

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The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.

Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.

The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”