Morning Briefing: Montero day


FIRST PITCH: It's deGrom Day!

Oh yeah, that's right. The Mets decided 178 2/3 innings were enough for Jacob deGrom, and shut him down for the season after last week's win in Atlanta.

So it's Montero Day!

Sorry if that doesn't sound as exciting. deGrom is the National League Rookie of the Year favorite. Rafael Montero (1-3, 4.38), who will start in deGrom's place Saturday night against the Astros, is still trying to establish that he can succeed in the major leagues.

It's interesting to think back and remember that in mid-May, when deGrom and Montero were called up to the big leagues on the same day, Montero was the guy guaranteed a spot in the rotation, and deGrom was headed for the bullpen until Dillon Gee's injury left the Mets in need of another starter.

We know how it turned out. deGrom pitched so well he stayed in the rotation for good, and is now guaranteed a spot next April as well. Montero was back in the minor leagues in a few weeks, and the Mets now wonder if his future is in the bullpen.

Anyway, Montero gets another chance Saturday. Samuel Deduno (2-6, 4.66) starts for the Astros.

Saturday's news reports:

Jonathon Niese threw 5 1/3 shutout innings Friday night, but then he had to leave the game with an elevated heart rate, a recurrence of a problem he last had in 2012. Read game stories in the Post, Daily News, Record and MLB.com.

Travis d'Arnaud had a bone spur in his right elbow, and it came loose while he made a throw Tuesday in Washington. Now he's going to need surgery to remove it, and his season is done. Read more in Newsday and MLB.com.

Bobby Abreu announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season. Abreu isn't yet ready to commit to coaching, but said he would like to be a hitting coach at some point in the future. Given how the Mets feel about him and about his approach to hitting, it's hardly a reach to think that he'll be working for them. Read more in Newsday and MLB.com.

BIRTHDAYS: John Lannan turns 30 today ... Jon Rauch is 36 ... Jason Phillips is 38 ... Don Schulze is 52.


YOU'RE UP: What are your hopes for Rafael Montero?