Jesus Montero is competing for 1B now
According to a tweet from Shannon Drayer, the once-heralded catcher Jesus Montero has lost upwards of 30 pounds and is going to compete for first base during spring training.
After being traded to the Mariners in 2012, Montero has done poorly, to say the least. In those three years, he’s batted .251/.291/.378 with 19 home runs and 73 RBIs.
Granted, the only year he saw regular work was the 2012 season, and he arguably performed his best during that season.
After being sent down to AAA last season, he was humiliated by a scout that sent him an ice cream sandwich during a game.
The encounter obviously sparked motivation in Montero, and he has taken considerable steps toward getting back to his first MLB season, when he batted .328 in 61 at-bats.
If Montero can come even close to his 2011 numbers next season, consider this writer thrilled. The M’s could be getting a sudden production boost from a source that nobody saw coming. I had certainly written Montero off entirely when I saw that he had been sent down to AAA.
Sometimes it takes an extreme event to motivate somebody to become better, and the whole ice cream sandwich incident obviously served as that event for Montero.
But with the news that Montero is now going to compete for the first base spot, the spotlight turns on Logan Morrison to keep his job at that spot, where he started most of his games last year.
LoMo does play a little bit of outfield, and if Montero shows a large increase in production during spring training, it might not be out of the question to have him play out there every once in a while.
I would only consider this an option if Montero were to get near his 2011 numbers in spring training though. If anything, Montero and Morrison could split time at first. Montero is a righty and Morrison bats lefty, so McClendon could use them both as the situation dictates.
There aren’t a whole lot of bad things that could come from a player that wants to be better, and is working hard to achieve that goal.