NL Notes: Mets, Phillies, Braves, Pirates

The Mets have an interesting problem in Rafael Montero, whose fast ascent through the minors has placed him on the cusp of the big leagues with limited English skills, The New York Times' Tim Rohan writes. Non-native speakers typically see their English progress as they gradually move up the minor league ranks, but by the middle of the 2013 season, Montero was already logging significant time in Triple-A, a little more than three years after signing out of the Dominican Republic. Still, the Mets figure to find a way to make the situation work: Baseball America projects Montero as a potential No. 3 starter with plus-plus command. Here's more from around the National League:

  • Reliever Mike Adams looked "close to game-ready" when throwing to hitters on Saturday, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg reports (via Jim Salisbury of Adams is working back from 2013 shoulder surgery, which shortened the first season of a two-year, $12MM deal with the Phillies.
  • Injuries in the rotation have complicated the Braves' attempts to finalize their bullpen for 2014, writes Mark Bowman of
  • Daniel Schlereth has a shot at making the Pirates' bullpen, Tom Singer of reports. Schlereth hasn't appeared in the majors since 2012 because of shoulder inflammation. The lefty admits that his velocity is down, but says lowering his arm slot had added movement to his fastball.
  • MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth rounded up the latest on the Mets earlier today. You can also read his review of the Cardinals' offseason here.

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