Pre-June callups show Mets mean business
NEW YORK -- Over the past two seasons, the Mets established a clear blueprint for dealing with their top pitching prospects. The organization had little desire to call them up prior to the Super Two arbitration deadline, which typically comes and goes in June.
But the Mets leapt out of character this week in announcing that they planned to recall both Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero from Triple-A Las Vegas. Both pitchers joined the team on Tuesday, though the Mets planned not to officially activate Montero until after Tuesday's game.
"We've been ridiculed at times for worrying about Super Twos and worrying about things down the road," manager Terry Collins said. "We're worried about winning."
The Mets feel those two pitchers represent their best chance to do so now. In Montero, they have a standout starting pitching prospect who will debut on Wednesday night against the Yankees. Dubbed "Little Pedro" by his teammates in homage of countryman Pedro Martinez, Montero said he has felt ready to pitch in the big leagues for a while.
"That's really what I work hard for and train for because it could happen at any moment," Montero said. "So I'm really glad the time is here."
In deGrom, the Mets believe they have a starting pitcher capable of seamlessly transitioning to bullpen work. Both pitchers received the call to the big leagues on Monday, flying together Tuesday morning on a commercial jet to New York City.
"I was surprised when they called me," deGrom said. "I didn't know if it would come as a reliever or a starter, which one it would be. I was thinking it would be a little later, but I'm really glad it happened now."
If the Mets have their way, those two will take this opportunity and run with it. Within a month or two, top-ranked prospect Noah Syndergaard could join them -- along with infielders Wilmer Flores and Eric Campbell, who both came up over the weekend -- in Flushing.
"All of the sudden, it brings energy to the clubhouse," Collins said. "They're very excited to be here. They had a long flight. You'd have never known it. They're flying a mile high right now, and some of the guys feed off that."