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Rafael Montero, five others dispatched to minor league camp

Mets pitcher Rafael Montero is likely headed for the rotation at Triple-A Las Vegas. Adam Rubin/ESPN.com

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Right-hander Rafael Montero headlined the six players dispatched to minor league camp by the New York Mets on Friday morning. Also shipped out in the first round of cuts: right-handers Chasen Bradford, Akeel Morris and Paul Sewald, left-hander Dario Alvarez and catcher Raywilly Gomez.

The 25-year-old Montero nominally was in the competition for the long reliever/spot starter role. In reality, he had an uphill battle to unseat primary candidates Sean Gilmartin and Logan Verrett.

Montero had the added burden of having been on the disabled list April 30 through the remainder of last season with a nebulous shoulder injury that team doctors did not believe was serious.

He allowed five runs on six hits and two walks in two Grapefruit League innings.

Montero should open the season in Triple-A Las Vegas' rotation.

"He missed almost a whole year," pitching coach Dan Warthen said. "It's going to take at least a couple of months for him to get back into throwing, get his arm in full shape, get himself going. We're going to use a sixth starter during the course of the year. So he has to get down there and get some innings in, start to get the velocity back, start to see hitters again, start to do the things that we were so high on him about before. When you miss a whole year, it takes a while to get back."