PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Rafael Montero said he felt it on one pitch.
“I felt something weird in my elbow,” the Mets righthander said through a translator on Friday. “I didn’t pay much attention to it. I just threw a few pitches after that and then I went out of the game for regular reasons. After that, I woke up in the morning with my elbow swollen.”
That swollen elbow was later confirmed to have a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. Montero said on Friday he has decided to have Tommy John surgery with the date to be determined next week.
“I’m ready to take the surgery,” Montero said. “I just want to get rid of this and be ready for next season.”
Montero, 27, was in danger of being removed from the Mets roster after posting a 9.00 ERA in spring training. His last outing was on Tuesday vs. the Cardinals. That’s when he got hurt.
Manager Mickey Callaway said he expects to have a decision about his fifth starter on Saturday. The candidates are Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler and Jason Vargas.
Vargas, who had surgery on his right (non-pitching) hand on Tuesday, went to a local emergency room on Friday with what Callaway said was a stomach virus. Vargas only returned to camp on Thursday.
Hansel Robles (9.26 spring training ERA) and catcher Tomas Nido were sent to minor-league camp. Callaway said of Robles, “It was kind of a shock to him.” . . . Bullpen candidate Jacob Rhame allowed three runs (two earned) in two-thirds of an inning in the Mets’ 5-1 loss to the Cardinals. Rhame, who the Mets got from the Dodgers for Curtis Granderson, has impressed Callaway with his aggressive approach. But he has a 5.06 ERA . . . Shortstop prospect Andres Gimenez, 19, went 2-for-3 with an RBI.