The Mets on Thursday placed Rafael Montero on the disabled list with inflammation in his rotator cuff. The Met shoulder (no pun intended) responsibility for this injury.
When Spring Training started, Montero was destined for the bullpen, so he was trained for that role. Then Zack Wheeler got injured so maybe Montero would be used as a starter, so he was retrained for that role. He ended up making five spring appearances — two as a starter and three as a reliever.
However, the Mets probably never had any intention of putting him in the rotation, so he started the season in the pen. He pitched in four games before the Mets sent him to Las Vegas to stretch him out to be a starter yet again.
He started two games out there, then was recalled for a spot start on Monday. Now he has a shoulder injury. Is it any wonder?
You just can’t shuttle a pitcher, especially a young pitcher, from the bullpen to the rotation. Throwing fewer pitches multiple times in a week as opposed to throwing more pitches on a regular schedule likely places different kind of stresses on the arm, not to mention the rest of the body. The most successful and healthy pitchers are the ones who know their roles and stick to a routine (although obviously these pitchers get injured as well).
Perhaps Montero would have gotten hurt anyway. But switching roles probably did not help. The Met do not think this injury is serious. They better hope not.