Mets will bring back Rafael Montero as a starting pitcher near the end of April

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Rafael Montero lost out to Dillon Gee in spring training for the fifth spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. As a result, he started off in the bullpen. The 2015 season has treated neither pitcher well, as Gee has allowed nine runs in 10 2/3 innings over two starts while Montero allowed three runs (two earned) in 4 1/3 innings over four relief appearances prior to a demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Montero will be brought back soon, however, and it will be to start, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin reports. The goal is to stretch him out at Triple-A, then bring him back for a spot start on April 28 against the Marlins. That will allow Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom to get an extra day of rest. Gee, if he continues to pitch poorly, could be in danger of losing his rotation spot as well if Montero excels in his spot start.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.