Jesus Montero Suspended 50 Games

Dave · August 5, 2013 at 10:13 am · Filed Under Mariners 

As expected, Jesus Montero accepted a 50 game suspension as part of the fallout from the BioGenesis investigation, which means his 2013 season is effectively over. Players can serve major league suspensions in the minor leagues, as Montero will do, but they cannot participate in games or be in the dugout while games are occurring. Essentially, Montero will be limited to practice, and it’s not clear where he will spend the final two months of the season working out, though Arizona would be a logical guess.

Taking the suspension now means that Montero will start the 2014 season with a clean slate, as his suspension will be entirely contained within the rest of this year. Of course, it also means that he’s going to finish the year without actually having shown the organization any real improvement at anything, so there’s basically no chance he’s going to be ticketed for the big league roster next year out of spring training.

Montero is no longer a catcher, his offensive potential is in question, and he’ll likely enter the 2014 season in Tacoma, trying to prove to everyone that he can actually hit well enough to justify a big league roster spot at some point. I’ve always been something of a Montero skeptic, so I don’t see his offensive rebound as a sure thing, and am honestly not sure whether Montero will actually ever play another game in Seattle. He was nowhere close to being a big leaguer before this suspension, and losing a couple of months of in-game development time isn’t going to help. And, of course, there’s the issue of whether or not his minor league track record was built with chemical assistance.

At this point, Jesus Montero is probably a 2015 prospect. If he goes to Triple-A next year and has a monster season, shows he can handle first base at a reasonable level or hits well enough to justify DH at-bats, he could factor into the team’s plans again at some point down the line. But his stock has probably fallen faster than anyone else in baseballs over the last few years. For the short term, you can basically forget about Jesus Montero.


24 Responses to “Jesus Montero Suspended 50 Games”

  1. GhostofMarinersPast on August 5th, 2013 10:15 am

    Already had. Jesus….mon…mon….who?

  2. wabbles on August 5th, 2013 10:30 am

    OK, so is where we all complain that we have fallen, yet again, for the Yankees spectacular “pump-and-dump” prospect-hyping machine? I’ll spare everyone the laundry list of over-hyped players out of their farm system but we’ve been suckered into more than a couple, if memory serves. (Yes, I know what the prospect raters had to say about him but I think they were taken in by the hype machine as well.)

  3. currcoug on August 5th, 2013 10:33 am

    It would be premature to conclude Montero’s minor league numbers were chemical induced. Montero may have been one of the players “recruited” by A-Rod.

    Giving up on Montero at this point is silly, and we don’t exactly have a plethora of elite RHB’s left in the system at the moment.

  4. maqman on August 5th, 2013 10:42 am

    Giving up on him at this point is not silly, it’s rational. He has shown little evidence of being a major league player of note, his potential roles are limited, his brief burst of apparent value during a September call up by the Yankees appears to have been juiced. His non-chemically assisted talent level doesn’t look good at all. I’m sorry but I have no sympathy for those who cheated their teammates who did it naturally.

  5. currcoug on August 5th, 2013 11:06 am

    I agree with you in regards to cheating. However, you are speculating in regards to when Montero’s use began, and we don’t know all the facts. Montero’s minor league power numbers are fairly consistent, and do not reveal sudden jumps in power.

    Again, the Mariners do not have dozens of MLB-ready power bats in the minors. Moreover, they continue to struggle against LHP. Montero is hitting .474 against LHP at Tacoma this season (I anticipate the usual “small sample size” argument), and has hit LHP consistently until this season with Seattle.

    Many gave up on Mike Morse for the same reasons (Zduriencik himself admitted trading Morse was a mistake). Similarly, we gave up on Carp, who has .957 OPS for the season with the Red Sox; and Tui with the Tigers.

    Finally, here is an interesting article in regards to Montero at Tacoma:

    “I’m seeing now what everybody has told me about him as a hitter – that he is dangerous,” Johnson said. “Whatever it is – his leg, knee, not catching, whatever – he is in a good place right now offensively….He can hit. Flat out,” Johnson said. “If you don’t run well and you can hit like that, it means you can hit.”

    Read more here:

  6. Spideysage on August 5th, 2013 11:10 am

    Now we get to see what Montero is really made of. He has talent to hit a baseball. Whether he can put it together and hit consistently with enough power to stick at DH or 1B, the only positions he’ll ever play, will be an interesting thing to watch next year.

    It wasn’t just the Yankees who were hyping Montero. Most people who get paid to rate prospects had him near the top. All we heard around the time of the trade from anyone with knowledge was that he could “rake.” The only dispute was whether he could stick defensively at catcher.

    Pineda hasn’t done anything yet. Think postively. Thank the Yankees for sending us Lord Farquhar. He quite possibly might be our closer of the futre.

  7. Steve Nelson on August 5th, 2013 11:10 am

    Giving up on him at this point is absolutely irrational. What is rational is recognizing him for what he is – a middling prospect with the upside to be a productive major league bat. Some of those guys turn in to Mike Carp. Some of them are Mike Wilson. Every now and then one of those guys turns into Raul Ibañez (another guy who couldn’t make it as a catcher by the way).

    You don’t give up on those guys until you run out of options.

  8. currcoug on August 5th, 2013 11:11 am

    Well said, Steve.

  9. Westside guy on August 5th, 2013 11:16 am

    Well, at least the role that Montero might eventually fill, and the one Carp and Tui could potentially have filled had they not been dumped, is already filled to overflowing on the existing Mariners roster with Morales, Morse, Ibañez, and Smoak.

    We have no shortage of guys whose only rationally viable position is 1B/DH.

    So while I agree we shouldn’t give up on Monty per se, we don’t really need to count on him at this point either.

  10. jak924 on August 5th, 2013 11:18 am

    I miss Montero—so much fun watching him ‘run’ around the bases. Hilarious.

  11. currcoug on August 5th, 2013 11:24 am

    As you well know, three of the aforementioned chaps are on one-year contracts. Only Morales can fairly be said to be in his prime (Morse’s injury history)…and resigning Morales is no certainty.

    I feel good about Smoak’s numbers this season, but it still could be a mirage. Finally, Smoak isn’t hitting LHP this season (.486 OPS).

  12. eponymous coward on August 5th, 2013 11:30 am

    Well, at least the role that Montero might eventually fill, and the one Carp and Tui could potentially have filled had they not been dumped, is already filled to overflowing on the existing Mariners roster with Morales, Morse, Ibañez, and Smoak.

    We have no shortage of guys whose only rationally viable position is 1B/DH.

    Do you really think Morse and Ibañez will be on the 2015 Mariner roster? The premise of Dave’s piece is that Montero shouldn’t be expected to contribute until 2015 at best. I’m not sure Morse has played his way into a multi-year deal based on his 2013- I think if Zduriencik brings him back (which would be awful, but *sigh*) it’s a deal likely to be loaded with incentives and a one-year deal. He’s got ONE year as an uninjured full time player at age 31. That’s not a guy you throw multi year deals to.

    At most, come 2015 and assuming “players on the current 25 man roster who won’t be well into decline phase”, we’re probably looking at Morales and Smoak, and that’s only if Morales is resigned long-term. If Morales is as hosed in terms of negotiating position as Dave thinks he is, and I’m Boras, I probably tell my client to take the $14 million qualifying offer in 2014 instead of the long term deal, hope that he stays healthy, and the new money that starts washing into MLB mid-decade boosts FA deals for 2015. IMO 1/14 is probably better than 3/25 unless you don’t have confidence in staying injury-free in 2014.

    So I don’t see the M’s as flush in “hitters” right now. Of course, by 2015, DJ Peterson could be in AAA too…

  13. currcoug on August 5th, 2013 11:38 am

    The lack of right hand hitting for the M’s this year, is what made me so depressed about losing Zunino.

    If Morse gets through waivers, I would like to see Zduriencik aggressively try to move him to the Rangers.

  14. lailaihei on August 5th, 2013 12:07 pm

    Good. Maybe the extra long offseason can give him some time to remember how to hit.

  15. Westside guy on August 5th, 2013 12:19 pm

    “Do you really think Morse and Ibañez will be on the 2015 Mariner roster?”

    Yes… I do think exactly that.

    I believe it will be a mistake – but I expect it to happen.

  16. Pilate on August 5th, 2013 1:32 pm

    Shannon Drayer reports that this opens a spot on the 40-man. I assume that means no roster shuffling when Gutierrez comes back.

    Maybe we should all get together and send Jesus a big ol’ Thank You card.

  17. Westside guy on August 5th, 2013 1:57 pm

    Well, they’ll still have to send someone down when Guti’s back (if that actually happens).

  18. Pilate on August 5th, 2013 2:14 pm

    True, and true. But at least we don’t have to do that whole waivers/DFA thing. Rumor is that the M’s were considering sending Ackley down soon anyway, to get the seasoning they originally planned on before all the outfielders got hurt at once about three weeks ago.

  19. Typical Idiot Fan on August 5th, 2013 4:28 pm

    Guti is only on the 15 day DL. It wouldn’t require a 40 man roster move to activate him anyhow.

  20. Slats on August 5th, 2013 4:39 pm

    What will I do with my Montero jersey?

  21. currcoug on August 5th, 2013 4:50 pm

    Save it, you never know. I kept my old Mike Morse jersey (#12).

  22. Gormogon on August 5th, 2013 5:05 pm

    Honestly, I would send him back to Single A. I think it would be better for him to reboot completely and develop success again. He’s going to need it for his psyche, both in growth and in knowing that he has a long way to go.

  23. Shanfan on August 5th, 2013 6:57 pm

    Don’t forget, the M’s are going to need a roster spot in 2015 for Ichiro.

  24. eponymous coward on August 6th, 2013 8:22 am

    Yes… I do think exactly that.
    I believe it will be a mistake – but I expect it to happen.

    Ibañez will be 43 years old at that point, and his OBPs the last 3 years are 40 points lower than his career OBP. He’s not really defying gravity. I can’t see him hanging around if he has a 2014 where he’s something like .220/.280/.380, which seems very much a possibility.

    As for Morse… OK, I guess. Again, Morse has exactly one year where he’s played 150+ games. He’s 31. GMZ has made questionable decisions at times, but a multi-year deal for a guy where the over/under in games played is realistically somewhere around 100? You really think he’s gone that far into Bavasi Cloud Cuckoo Land? He’s been decent so far in wanting to keep salary commitments short to role players, not giving long-term deals to Millwood, Saunders, Vargas. I’m not thrilled with the direction of the 2013 team, but he could have easily done some very stupid things that he didn’t. I don’t see Morse getting long-term deals based on a very “meh” 2013 where he didn’t stay healthy and his numbers are well behind a 41 year old.

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