Jesus Montero Suspended 50 Games
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.