Salvaging Jesus Montero


As a New York-based Mariners fan, it’s been especially painful being the brunt of the jokes.

“How’s Jesus Montero working out?”

“Thanks for Pineda!”

It’s been annoying. And it’s been true, unfortunately. The Michael Pineda for Jesus Montero trade in 2012 was supposed to greatly help the Yankees and the Mariners both. For while it helped neither, as Montero struggled defensively, with his weight, and with his attitude en route to minor league demotions and a 50-game suspension for PED use in 2013. Pineda missed an entire season and change with a shoulder injury and was at the center of a pine tar controversy last year.

But this year, Pineda has been excellent for the Yankees, even though he’s on the DL again. And Jesus Montero has been a beacon of hope in the Mariners organization. He shaped up in the offseason, worked diligently to keep his weight down, and earned himself a spot back in the M’s good graces. He went back to AAA, mashed, made the all-star team, and was promoted last week again to Seattle. All he’s done since he’s come back?

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It’s just five games. Of course it’s a small sample size. He could go 0-20 in his next five games and leave people feeling like its 2012-13 all over again. But this time feels different. Montero has a good plate approach. He’s drawn three walks in 25 plate appearances. He had no walks in six games in Seattle a year ago and had a sub-.300 OBP in Seattle in 2012 and 2013 (limited action in 2013).

He’s always been known as a guy who could to right field with the ball, but we didn’t see that in his first Mariners career.

This next chapter? Has been much better. And it just may stick.

Go M’s!

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