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Mets’ Rafael Montero has torn UCL

Rafael Montero is likely to undergo Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a torn UCL.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at New York Yankees Photo by Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Mets right-handed pitcher Rafael Montero has a complete tear of his UCL and is likely to undergo Tommy John surgery, per Mike Puma of the New York Post.

The elbow ligament replacement surgery is nearly always the outcome after a pitcher tears his UCL, and given that Montero has a complete tear, it’s unlikely that he’d be a candidate for the PRP therapy utilized by pitchers such as Masahiro Tanaka and Garrett Richards or the ligament repair surgery that’s been performed on Seth Maness and Jordan Schafer.

Though a UCL tear can never be considered a positive development for a pitcher, there is a bright side to the situation for the 27-year-old Montero, who is out of options and was likely to be outrighted to the minor leagues at the end of spring training. He’ll now have the opportunity to remain on the Mets’ major-league disabled list all season, and whenever he comes back he may return to a pitching staff that isn’t quite as deep as it is right now.

Montero has appeared in 58 big-league games and started 30 over four seasons, posting a 5.38 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. He saw the most extensive major-league action of his career last year, throwing for a 5.52 ERA and 1.75 WHIP with 114 strikeouts and 67 walks over 119 innings. Over seven Grapefruit League appearances (including one start) this spring, Montero allowed 13 runs (nine earned) on 12 hits and six walks while striking out 10 over nine innings.