The New York Mets settled their roster Sunday, before Monday’s opener against the Atlanta Braves. The last undecided spot on the team went to pitcher Rafael Montero, edging out pitcher Seth Lugo, who will begin the season on the 10-day disabled list. Montero will occupy the final spot in the bullpen.
Over the weekend, Lugo underwent tests on his throwing arm for what the team called right elbow inflammation. Lugo and Mets manager Terry Collins had first called the injury arm fatigue after Lugo’s appearance for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
Lugo, an unheralded prospect who helped the Mets reach the playoffs last season, pitched well in the World Baseball Classic but struggled in his first spring-training start for the Mets, suggesting he had pushed himself too hard to make the team. The Mets had hoped to delay the decision on the final bullpen spot while Lugo recovered from his “dead arm,” but instead decided to give him more time to rest with a stint on the disabled list.
Montero, once a top prospect who struggled with command, enjoyed a resurgence this spring. He posted a 1.77 ERA with 23 strikeouts and eight walks in 20 1/3 innings.
Montero and Lugo, when he returns, should provide depth to the Mets’ oft-injured starting rotation.