NEW YORK -- Though Rafael Montero's strong debut Thursday night with Triple-A Las Vegas renewed calls for his promotion, Mets manager Terry Collins reiterated his boss' recent assertion that a big league debut won't happen anytime soon.
"He pitched a very good game last night," Collins said. "You're going to ask a kid to come to the big leagues, and all of the sudden pitch out of the bullpen when he hasn't done it? That's why one of the things that's going to happen is those guys are going to pitch out of the 'pen sometime -- [Jacob] deGrom, Montero. But when you bring this guy up and slide him into a role he's extremely uncomfortable with, if he doesn't throw strikes, what's your next option?"
One of the Mets' top overall prospects, Montero did not walk a batter over six shutout innings in his season debut against Fresno. But he has served almost exclusively as a starter since signing as an international free agent in 2011, prompting the organization's caution. The Mets want to see him in a relief capacity before using him there in the big leagues, and tentatively plan to do so this month at Las Vegas.
General manager Sandy Alderson previously indicated that Montero will not debut for the Mets before May.