Noah Syndergaard

Mets top prospect could end up in Opening Day rotation

The Mets are are in the market for a starting pitching, Sandy Alderson told reporters on Sunday.

However, if he has to, he said could use Rafeal Montero, Noah Syndergaard, or a different pitching prospect, to fill a void in the starting rotation, Sandy Alderson told reporters on Sunday (Brender).

“I don’t think we’re totally comfortable with what we have in the organization,” Alderson said. “We’ve got a lot of quality. We even have some depth. But to replace two spots in the rotation with the kids coming out of our system, I think, is a little much to expect coming out of spring training. It’s conceivable we could have two in the rotation by the middle of the year, or by the end of the season certainly. I think putting that kind of pressure on the system coming out of the gate is something we’d like to avoid. It might be necessary, but I think we’d like to find someone.”

Michael Baron, Contributor

I’ll believe that when I see it. Look, while Montero and Syndergaard are exciting young arms, they are probably not ready for the big leagues. Montero may have the innings above Double-A that the organization requires for promotion, but he struggled in his limited time at Triple-A in 2013. Syndergaard only made it to Double-A Binghamton mid-way through the year, and he has yet to throw a pitch at Triple-A. Plus, based on how the front office handled Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey, it’s clear the Super Two issue is a factor for these prospects as well, regardless of what they say publicly.

68 comments
nymetsrule
nymetsrule

I'm looking at Montero's numbers from AAA. How the hell did he struggle? Please, follow up on that because you're either misinformed or full of complete bull****.

maxster
maxster

WHY NOT, THE A"S AND CARDINALS USE THEIR KIDS WITH GREAT SUCCESS.

metfan8669
metfan8669

When we were not even close to competing I agreed completely with Harvey and Wheeler being kept in the minors while shedding contracts and rebuilding.  

I still think you have to operate in a smart manner and keep these guys on the roster for as long as possible under the "Super Two" rules.  HOWEVER, sometimes you just have to play your best players. We are all hungry to see meaningful baseball, so if Montero earns a spot in Spring Training then give it to him.  -- If we don't need these guys yet then don't play them, but if we have to watch guys that don't have a chance or are just a prayer to succeed then bring up the youngsters and lets compete!!! 

John Grillo
John Grillo

Super Two didn't bother the Cardinals with Wacha

The Feels
The Feels

I can't believe you get paid for this. 

Patrick Boegel
Patrick Boegel

Montero struggled?  Come on Michael, you are better than this.  All of you guys are better than this.  Think about  what you are putting out there before hitting send.  If Montero struggled at AAA I shudder to think what we call Wheeler's performance there.


I get the Super Two thing, but we can't hide prospects forever.  The same argument I would make for at least Montero is the same I made for d'Arnaud last year.  At some point if you believe these players are THAT GOOD, you buy out their ARB years and some free agency early.

Mr. SERCH
Mr. SERCH

i got so angry at Baron for saying Montero struggled, i literally yelled at my computer screen...but i got VERY happy that about 99% of the commenters on here were quick to support Montero's year/numbers and rip into Baron...

im not one to bash these guys here on the site cuz i appreciate their work and insight and perspective...but thats just silly and borderline DUMB to say Montero struggled. Initially he did, but thats expected when making the change from AA to AAA....and quite frankly, he SHOULD BE our #4 starter next year...unless we can put him in a package for an encarnarcion/reyes/tulo/cargo, there really isnt any reason he shouldnt be holding down a rotation spot next year...


then, when Noah is ready in July, we're going to get a glimpse into the extremely bright future of this team with Wheeler, Montero, and Noah all taking the ball every 5th day...when Harvey comes back, man oh man...i know im geting ahead of myself, but i truly think Montero and Noah are going to be very good ML starting pitchers, and join an already great and promising duo of starting pitchers in Wheeler and Harvey...


those 4 will pitch us into the world series one day, i have complete faith in that...

hlow24
hlow24

I love how much bias Michael Baron writes with.  He'd prefer Montero stay in the minors, he thinks its the right thing to do, so he even lies to himself to prove his point.  Montero did not struggle in AAA.  And furthermore, what more does Montero need to do for his development?  He's a polished guy, he throws all his pitches for strikes, doesn't walk guys, and has a game plan out there.  He's going to get big league hitters out.  Let him pitch.  

Brett Fox
Brett Fox

How exactly did montero struggle in AAA?

Charlie Rode
Charlie Rode

Someone please explain to me how Montero "struggled" in AAA. For comparisons sake let's look at Zack Wheeler's numbers. Wheeler, who is 6 months older posted a 3.93 ERA in 13 starts. In 68.2 innings he had 73 K and 27 BB. While Montero posted a 3.05 ERA in 16 starts. In 88.2 innings he had 78 K and 25 BB. Plain and simple, Montero performed as well If not better than Wheeler and should be given the same shot Wheeler has.


Alvin Lugo
Alvin Lugo

Spend some money that should help this team have a wining season. CHEAP OWNERS !!!

Opti-Mets-tic
Opti-Mets-tic

I'm pretty sure that what this means is they'll let deGrom, Mejia, Montero, Syderguard fight it out for one spot, and potentially the long man role, and then possibly the Santana, Harang, Dice-K, Torres (or similar types) battle it out for the other spot, and potentially the long man role, as well. Competition is good, and I think in this case, the guys that don't win the "competition" go to Vegas, and keep fighting for their chance with Wally. This is a good thing, IMO.

I would like one "prospect" possibly as the long man, and then like a Santana type or two in the rotation to be the Hawkins/Mentor type for the young staff.

green24
green24

A 3.07 ERA and 2.87 FIP in the PCL is struggling? I wish any of our pitchers could struggle that much this year.

Luis Torres Quiñones
Luis Torres Quiñones

Sigh, not even gonna say anything about this "analysis". Montero should be in the rotation to start the season, barring an awful spring, and Syndergaard should be a mid season call-up.

Sean Mc D
Sean Mc D

Since when is a 3.05 era and a 1.2 whip in the most hitter friendly minor league struggling...and as for the "very limited" exposure to AAA montero has 3 less starts and like 13 less innings than wheeler had at AAA before being promoted and excepting Ks he had significantly better numbers too

marvmarv
marvmarv

Come on Baron, lighten up. As his stats were pointed out by AG below, he was pretty much lights out in his latter outings, including I recall, a brilliant performance with a spot start with the Mets. Montero is just about ready and I could definitely see him in the rotation in April. In fact, I'd save the money on the proven starter, make sure the pen is tough and take care of first base. I think Mejia can also challenge for a spot, if his elbow is healed. Stock up on some journeymen or guys coming back from injury. What's with Dice-K, btw?

mingo
mingo

Did we fooget about DeGrom?

My guess is he has best chance at opening day.

MMIAA
MMIAA

OK easy folks Montero has 64 starts in the minors. He has done well but lets stop talking about him as the starting pitcher for the NL All Star team.

supert
supert

Yeah right, the team is counting their pennies to spend on free agents and we're to believe they're gonna give up a year of control on Montero or Thor - don't think so!

lgm86
lgm86

Baron, Montero did great work in AAA.  Almost 8Ks per 9 innings over 88 innings with a 3.05 ERA in a terrible league/stadium for pitchers.  And late in the year after Den Dekker was up in the bigs, which obviously hurt the AAA defense.  I think most teams in MLB would slot him into the Opening Day rotation if he has a strong spring training.  


I do agree that Sandy is probably throwing this out there to make the fans happy and would greatly prefer to bring him up after the Super 2 deadline, though.

Andrew Garber
Andrew Garber

Baron: what brilliant metrics lead you to believe that Montero isn't ready for the big leagues? Or that he struggled in AAA? He pitched 88 innings in Vegas to the tune of a 3.05 ERA, well below league averages. Go on baseball-reference sometime. 

Scott DeFrancesco
Scott DeFrancesco

The Wilpons are destroying this team and us fans. They need to sell the team to someone who has a clue!

cver
cver

Funny thing is that I've been hearing that Montero did really well in Vegas, especially considering all the trouble that pitchers usually have there.  I have a feeling that he is ready, even though I'm not an expert.  It seems that this guy has shined and handled every challenge that he has had, when going to the next level.  Let him come up - maybe Syndergaard, too and skip spending the money on other starters.  Let's start the future, as we were supposed to.  I've already stated the other moves I think they should make, so I won't repeat that stuff, too.  We've got the pitching, it seems, so let's find out.  If they want to wait a couple of months with Syndergaard, I guess I could be alright with that, but let's get a few players and bring up the young pitchers and make a run at things.

mrseaver2u
mrseaver2u

They're not going to promote Snyderbäg out of Spring Training. Sandy ls just telling other GMs he's not desperate for SPs and they can't hold him up. I expect him to sign one mediocre to solid veteran SP (probably a cheapee that doesn't excite, a la Marcum), then sign a handful of retreads to minor league contracts and let them compete for #5. He'll promote Synderboôørgh after the Super 2 deadline and maybe Montero.


This is all unexciting but OK with me. But he's GOT to get a SS who can hit a bit.

Jesse Michael Schrage
Jesse Michael Schrage

I'd love to see them give Montero a shot if they can't deal him for a legitimate piece. I'd be fine with Noah chilling a bit longer. I am not fine with letting Tejada clog the 8 hole. Overpay Drew if they have to, Tejada is awful

mojorisin
mojorisin

now I see why Baron was stripped of his Pitching Analyst title ... Montero did just fine at AAA. His numbers are comparable to Wacha, despite an initial struggle and pitching in that hell hole

mrseaver2u
mrseaver2u

RE: Montero: A 3.05 ERA over 88 innings, with 8 Ks per 9 innings, does not qualify as a struggle, especially for a pitcher making the transition to a new level.


That said, this statement by SA reveals nothing. No GM is going to go into the Winter Meetings advertising that he MUST obtain a pitcher or two; that would amount to squandering leverage for no reason. Same with his comment about Tejada -- he needs to say, pretty much at all times, that he's willing to go into next season with the team he's got, otherwise opposing GMs will sense desperation and try to gouge him.


Tom Ardese
Tom Ardese

Post Montero's numbers at Las Vegas(the worst place to pitch) if he struggled so much at AAA. Lets see how he compares to Wheeler and Harvey.

ac0814
ac0814

Baron, Montero struggled initially adjusting to AAA and the hitter friendly PCL. However, he settled in rather nicely and finished very strong. He dominated at times. He's ready.

Marc Seldin
Marc Seldin

Maybe Neise gets traded/packaged for an infielder? Someone has to take his place and then also the place of Harvey..so that's two

KMO82
KMO82

Exactly, I laughed when I read that. He put up better numbers then Harvey too and Harvey was in Buffalo. Do I think Montero is gonna be better then Harvey or Wheeler, probably not, but to me the only reason he was thought not to be in contention for a rotation spot out of Spring Training was only because we all assumed the Mets wanted to wait for the extra year of control. If that's not the case then he is ready for the big leagues in my opinion.

dumdeeduda
dumdeeduda

Maybe he meant that he struggled in Vegas. Like he didn't hit 15 with the dealer showing a king. Because a 1.24 WHIP in the PCL is pretty good.

Gland1
Gland1

@marvmarv Who are you talking about regarding the spot start?

dumdeeduda
dumdeeduda

Montero never made a spot start for the Mets. He wasn't on the 40 man.

lgm86
lgm86

@MMIAA Nice strawman argument!  0 comments about the All Star team.  Lots of comments about not spending our limited resources on an old/ineffective FA pitcher and giving a young prospect the opportunity to start for the major league team.  You don't have to be an All Star to be better and cheaper than Aaron Harang or Tommy Hanson.

tryinbrian
tryinbrian

@supert I agree 100%. Meija will be up there (if he doesn't hurt himself between now and then), but no way Thor, Montero or deGromm is part of the 5 man rotation for the Mets come Opening Day. They have a better chance getting traded.

cver
cver

The Mets have a history of winning the World Series with poor hitting SS's - Harrelson, Weis and Rafael Santana, so it's not a prerequisite, if we get a loaded lineup, but we can only have so many holes in the lineup.  I'm just wondering who they can get.  I can't see signing Drew for a ton of money and years.  I'm discouraged about the SS situation, but of course, I can't resist mentioning again that they should get Reyes back and maybe trade Niese for him (and bring up the young starters).

MMIAA
MMIAA

@Jesse Michael Schrage overpay Drew....ROFL... You have Tejada that makes 500k and you just think hey go ahead go spend 40-50m on a way overrated SS who isn't all that good to begin with. That is RIDICULOUS.

MMIAA
MMIAA

@Tom Ardese its amazing how all you guys think thin air makes bat hit ball...

mrseaver2u
mrseaver2u

@Tom Ardese Yes, see my note above. He may have struggled initially, but over 88 innings -- a decent sample size -- he pitched quite well. I think it would be great to give him a couple more months in AAA before promoting him, but it's misleading to suggest he didn't ultimately handle the hitters at Las Vegas.

Charlie Rode
Charlie Rode

@Kenny Ryan @Charlie RodeRode If it were up to me I'd sign a guy like John Lannan as insurance but my rotation would be Niese, Wheeler, Gee and 2 of Mejia, Montero or Lannan who perform best in Spring Training. 


Bullpen has 7 spots, we have bullpen covered with Parnell, Black, Familia, Torres, German, Rice, Edgin


Maybe sign a relief pitcher or two off the scrap, ones who will take a minor league deal offer.

dumdeeduda
dumdeeduda

I think it's fair to say that the Rangers expected better offense from Andrus. He did take a step back last year.

mrseaver2u
mrseaver2u

@cver "If we get a loaded lineup." We are not going to have a loaded lineup. But, to your point, we need a better lineup, and I agree that in a vacuum the production doesn't need to come from SS. I'm just looking at the existing team and seeing that as one of the few unfilled spots where we can reasonably expect to find improvement. Would I prefer a 30HR 1B or OFielder, sure, but that's not happening this off-season. If the improved production were at 2B that'd be fine, too.