... M's 7 (Montero CERA)

 ..........

Funny how Jesus Montero's pitch calling is just fine when Jason Vargas or Felix Hernandez is out there able to execute the signs he puts down, isn't it?

Felix shook Montero off a ton, to which I can confidently say, who cares.  At worst, this shakeoff routine means that Olivo vs. Montero is 100% a non-issue with a good pitcher on the mound.  At best ... what?   Hmmmmm...  

Don't quote me, kiddies.  But watching Jesus Montero for several days, I'm getting a creeping suspicion that he is an overall better defensive catcher than Miguel Olivo.   To paraphrase my fave beat writer, I'll come on and debate anybody who wants to take the other side.  After I dust you off we can still be friends.

...........

The coaches are locked into a micromanagement paradigm, like NCAA basketball coaches judging players by whether they set backscreens off the ball.  Wedge judges Montero by whether he is starting to do the specific small things that a 10-year catcher does.  If they shifted paradigms, they might notice that rookie catchers bring their own fresh perspectives to the game.  

Of course, Olivo is technically more sophisticated.  That does not resolve the larger issue.  There are basketball players who do not cut the right way off a triangle offense, but who win you games by hitting 35 points.  There are a whale of a lot of youth basketball coaches who lose games because they judge players by technical sophistication, and are completely blind to anything that cuts across that.

One year we co-coached a youth girls' soccer team that went 14-0.  That winter the other coach sat down and analyzed every player technically to a fare-thee-well; our star defensive stopper was 10 lbs too heavy, he "realized," and he put a bunch of players out there who would execute as he directed.  Eleven little puppets out there, extensions of the coach's will.  I politely withdrew as co-coach, and they went 6-8.

At 14-and-0, we were coaching to what each girl brought to the table, adapting our system to them.  At 6-and-8, the coach tried to teach each player to adapt to his system.

...........

The CERA's going into last night:  Olivo 4.20, Montero 3.58.  That's before the shutout Saturday.  At this point you're sort of arguing that Nick Collison has a better technical shooting motion than Kobe Bryant; not exactly, but you know what I mean.  Maybe Collison is more technically proficient than Kobe.  At some point we're going to benefit from less Bobby Knight and more Jerry Tarkanian.

Point cheerfully conceded, there is some minimal level of competence required here.  You can't have Munenori Kawasaki call the pitches four times next week.  You needed to make sure that Montero wasn't Carlos Delgado behind the plate.

But Vargas and Felix just allowed 0 runs in back-to-back games.  "Minimal levels of competence" are not in question at this point, not with Montero's CERA leading the club by a wide margin.  Jesus Montero is not Carlos Delgado, and he's not Mike Napoli, either.

I'm a big Eric Wedge fan, and the Montero catching situation is going to shake itself out.  Montero has a month to prove himself or not.  This isn't the mythical 1980's NCAA football championship, where our debates change the shape of the world.  One month from now, people will know whether Jesus Montero is all right behind the plate; there will be a consensus on June 1.  

My prediction is that the consensus will be positive, come June 1, but I could be wrong (25% chance IMHO).

Tag onto this idea:  the Seattle Mariners have a cleanup hitting catcher!

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NEXT

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Comments

Lakay's picture

Lakay

That's Monty's birthday. Of the Big 3, I think the one who share the same birthdate as him would be the first one to be called up. I believe that would be a first for a battery pair having the same birthdate (or at least the first battery rookies pair). That would be very neat.

1

I noticed Felix shaking off Olivo a ton in his last start with him. Or maybe it was the start before that. Or probably it was both.

With Felix not letting many guys on base, Olivo's arm advantage over Montero is moot. So in my estimation the biggest difference between Olivo and Montero is about 100 points in batting average and slugging and an open DH slot.

2

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misterjonezIt does seem like Ruggiano is a platoon fit, which suggests that either A) Jack likes Miller just fine as a COF platoon partner (a stretch, to my mind, considering this is an 'all-in' type of year for the M's), or B) There is another move coming/simmering. I would *love* it if this was, as much as acquiring a 4th OF, a leverage move by Z in his discussions with ATL. The Braves have been trying to tack a few different players onto a J. Upton trade, and they're clearly not getting any takers. Seems like a good call on Z's part, but I might be seeing something that isn't really there.8 hours 56 min ago
MtGrizzlyA good defensive LH OF with platoon issues should not be difficult to find. Be good insurance just in case Miller or Taylor stumble in ST, anyway. That's the minimum we should expect, I guess. Hoping for more.9 hours 10 min ago
moethedogMust be one more add, Matt is right.10 hours 21 min ago
SABR MattSo assuming we're set with Taylor at SS and Miller platooning with Cruz and Ackley platooning with Ruggiano and Montero or Ronero filling in...with the rest of the bench being Bloomquist and Sucre...was the Saunders maneuver worth it?10 hours 22 min ago
moethedogSo it turns out that basically we had to top last year's 13th pick Trea Turner to get Souza, if we were ever interested (we should have been). We could have got there.10 hours 27 min ago
merksThe Diamond Genius really did startup a furor last night. It's funny I like him a lot more on the radio than I do when he's writing or tweeting. I don't think Churchill would put information out there just for web hits but he's not a journalists per se where he needs to verify what his sources feed him. New Media/new rules.11 hours 22 min ago
mojicianZduriencik has grown an expectation or two for Montero: http://m.mariners.mlb.com/news/article/103647920/mariners-gm-jack-zduriencik-praises-jesus-monteros-offseason-workouts If he can't be trusted with backup DH bench duties for lefty day, then he should probably be DFA'd11 hours 37 min ago
SABR MattI said dh because against lefties, if we add no one else, Cruz plays right, Ruggiano plays left, and we need adh11 hours 49 min ago
mojicianA right handed backup DH? The Boomstick doesn't approve of backups. :)P I hope they give Jesus Montero, Ji Man Choi and Kivlehan a chance this year as a revolving cast of first base benchies.11 hours 54 min ago
SABR MattI don't hate Riggiano, but 2014 was an outlier offensively and, when tasked with starting, Ruggiano floundered. This cannot be our last add unless Z thinks highly enough of Taylor to move Miller off of short...and even then, we need to add a rhb dh12 hours 20 min ago
jemanjiHey Lonnie of MC - long time no mosh. If you get a chance can you email me? jeffclarke238 with the server being comcast net -13 hours 19 min ago
rick82OTOH, I think this means we won't see a flyer on Guti, which makes me sad. Ruggiano takes Guti's role.13 hours 22 min ago
rick82Ruggiano has some very nice stats. Solid move here.14 hours 6 min ago
moethedogExactly Lonnie, this is a Stars and Scrubs move.....with us acquiring a "scrub" with some decent pedigree. A complementary 3-position OF'er was always in need but Ruggiano doesn't fill the hole we have for a LHB in the OF. I'm not betting that it is Miller. I think we start with Miller/Taylor sharing the SS job and Miller getting the occasional 3B/2B start....and some in LF.14 hours 39 min ago
Lonnie of MCI think everyone needs to lower their sights or else they are going to be sorely disappointed. The move this morning of Matt Brazis for Justin Ruggiano of the Cubbies was a nice move that will help bolster the team from the right side. Not a sexy move by any stretch, but Ruggs definitely has value. If anyone is interested, I've got something up on Ruggiano at MC.15 hours 7 min ago
TaroYes, but I think Souza profiles similar or better from here on out. Rays are doing well selling high (low?) here.15 hours 11 min ago
MtGrizzlyMyers was ROY in MLB at 22. Souza was in AAA at 25.15 hours 22 min ago
TaroFrom early rumblings it sounds like the Rays are about rip off the Padres. Souza is a speedier and better defensive version of Myers, and it looks like the Rays want a lot more on top of that.15 hours 28 min ago
MtGrizzlySo yeah, LoMo is with mojician15 hours 30 min ago