Rafael Montero was diagnosed with a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the Mets announced Thursday.
Montero will undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2018 season.
Montero was signed by the Mets in 2011 as an international free agent, and was listed as the Mets fifth best prospect prior to the 2013 season.
To say he’s had an up and down career would be a understatement. Montero always posted great numbers in the minors, even in hostile environments in the Pacific Coast League. For whatever reason, that success never translated to the big league level.
The news today came as a shock. Followers of the Mets have been debating his fate relentlessly. He’s struggled mightily all spring. Montero has been involved in trade rumors, and there was even talk of dropping him off the roster completely, as he has exhausted all of his minor league options.
I don’t think anyone saw this coming though.
Montero may have very well thrown his last pitch for the Mets. Thrust into action when bodies were dropping left and right last season, he pitched to a 5.52 ERA. Safe to say, he wasn’t exactly a fan favorite, routinely leaving the field to a chorus of boos during home games.
There was a sliver of hope entering this spring though. He ended last season with a string of decent outings. There were also some stats that supported the belief that Montero was very unlucky at times during the 2017 campaign.
Montero’s supporters quickly hopped off that bandwagon this spring. His pinpoint control which propelled him through the Mets system was nowhere to be found and he was hit hard in every start.
The general consensus was that Rafael would not be on the opening day roster. Now, at 27 years of age, his career may be in jeopardy.
All in all, it’s a tough break. I’ll be the first to tell you that I had no faith or patience left for Montero. You hate to see it end like this though. By all accounts, he is a good guy so best of luck Rafael.