And *Dr. D's* solution to the LH tilt
But he warns you, the trade cost is steep


Q.  What happened on Jesus Montero's two homers Saturday?

A.  He sat back on the ball ... rocked his tree-trunk arms into blast position ... let the ball travel approximately to the catcher's glove ... and then lined a couple of 3-iron shots over the right field fence.  Off RH pitchers.

Here's the first one.

The second one was more impressive:  Jesus let the ball travel way deeeper (!) into the strike zone, and lined it down the 1B line over the wall. 


Q.  Why has he become such a joke?

A.  ... maybe I better leave this alone.  





He does deserve criticism.  What he doesn't deserve, is the kind of jeering that Seattle baseball is uniquely capable of.  It began, originally, with jeering about his ability to play the catcher position, as a way to make a statement that we understood the niceties of baseball.  It spiralled off from there, as Montero did genuinely objectionable things with his opportunity.

What is it about sports, that people cannot point out a flaw without becoming extremely emotional about it?  Is Jesus Montero the first baseball player around here to show less-than-Seageresque moral character?


Q.  Is he 40 lbs. overweight and has he eaten himself out of baseball?

A.  He looks the same. 

(I think Ryan Divish also said that, in a chat, about two weeks ago.)


Q.  What is his career split vs LHP?

A.  At ages 21, 22, and 23, he has hit .320/.371/.455 against them, this being in Safeco Field.  There are some people around here who haven't.


Q.  Why hasn't he hit like Albert Pujols yet?

A.  He's got 732 plate appearances in the bigs.  Justin Smoak has 1,942.  Call me three years from now, when Montero's experience then catches up to Smoak's now.  That is, if Montero's fulltime play begins now.


Q.  What is his upside for 2014?

A.  Oh - he's got a 150 Power Index and is a very gifted contact hitter (in part because he lets the ball travel and drives it to the off field).  At age 24, he's capable of having the big bustout.  At age 24, he certainly will hit left hand pitchers very well.

I recall paying Michael Pineda for his upside, don't you?  Is that now ruled out of discussion?

His DOWNside is to bash lefties.  His UPside is to become our cleanup hitter, starting now.


Q.  Any chance the Mariners consider him as an Opening Day Fix?

A.  Nails-chewing Zduriencik will want to see him take the paddle to the posterior in Tacoma, saying "Thank You Sir May I Have Another," and might consider him for the second half if everything breaks right.  Me personally, I'd be more interested in wins at the big-league level.

But then, I'm the wrong guy to ask.  I never believed in petty grudges or small-mindedness.  I mean it in a good way.

We didn't say it was the Mariners' solution.  We said it was SSI's solution.  And it would be.  Jesus Montero would, right now, be one of the 25.  He looks like he means business.


Q.  How could he fit on to the roster?

A.  Well, some teams carry 8 starters, 5 benchies and "only" 12 pitchers.  You need a backup infielder (Willie) and a backup catcher (Buck).  The 4th OF is nominally (Almonte).  Logan Morrison is benchie number four.

You don't have to wait for Hart to get injured; you could put two long men in the bullpen - Maurer and Beavan, along with Charlie Furbush, perhaps Randy Wolf.  Why can five SP's pitch your first 6 IP, but then your six-seven relievers can't cover your last 3 IP?

Me personally, I cut bait on Logan Morrison if it looks like Jesus Montero is ready to go.  Did I give up Michael Pineda to get Morrison?  What exactly did I give up?


Q.  How could Montero help the big league team?

A.   (1) how many left hand starters are going to blow the Mariners away?   And (2) How many times is McClendon going to play with 3 men on the bench (vs LHP) because he refuses to EVER use a catcher as a DH?  With Montero as the 5th benchie, that activates John Buck for actual use during games.  Rather important vs LHP.

I dunno.  Pick your poison.  Get destroyed routinely by LHP's, and get shish-ka-bobbed by LOOGYs on a nightly basis ... or figure a way to make do with 6 relief pitchers, and activate a RH lineup that makes a game out of it when Chris Sale is pitching.


Q.  Is it really THIS big a DEAL?  How could you conceive of such radical panic moves like 12 pitchers or letting Logan Morrison go?

A.  Robinson Cano had a nuanced angle on it this week:  "We need to get another right hand hitter."

But yeah.  I realize, LrKrBoi29.  They ain't gonna let Jesus Montero get off without some serious grovelling.


Q.  How many left hand starters ARE there in the American League, anyway?

A.  At the moment:

  • C.J. Wilson, LHP Angels
  • Tyler Skaggs, LHP
  • Hector Santiago, LHP
  • Scott Kazmir, LHP A's
  • Martin Perez, LHP Rangers
  • Joe Saunders, LHP
  • Brett Oberholtzer, LHP Astros
  • Chris Sale, LHP ChiSox
  • John Danks, LHP
  • Jose Quintana, LHP
  • Drew Smyly, LHP Tigers
  • Jason Vargas, LHP Royals
  • Danny Duffy, LHP
  • Bruce Chen, LHP
  • Wei-Yin Chen, LHP Orioles
  • Jon Lester, LHP Red Sox
  • Felix Doubront, LHP
  • CC Sabathia, LHP NYY
  • David Price, LHP Rays
  • Matt Moore, LHP
  • Mark Buehrle, LHP Jays
  • J.A. Happ, LHP

So, only 22 of 70, or 31% ... usually it's 20-25%, so the number of LHP starters is up right now.  

But take heart:  not all of them are CJ Wilson, CC Sabathia, David Price, Jon Lester, Matt Moore, Drew Smyly, Chris Sale, John Danks, and we're totally fine when we go to Minnesota and Cleveland.

Be Afraid,

Dr D






I said the other day that I couldn't imagine the M's keeping Montero up, right out of ST. Man, it would be an interesting FO discussion, wouldn't it?
Smoak or LoMo is in the way, if we do. Same with a trade for Viciedo. If you demote or swap LoMo then Hart is going to get some RF time, without a doubt. But Morrison hasn't been an OF in ST, anyway, so that result might not change if you keep Montero up or not. Truthfully, I wouldn't be surprised it Morrison gets dangled around, as Romero or Tenbrink give us lot more flexability. Oh, Franklin, too, of course.
But Montero has always brought that one skill set: He creams the stuff lefties throw.
I'm still not sure we do this right out of ST, Doc. But I don't think making Montero "prove" he has a skill he's already proven would be the reason we keep him down to begin with. Or the stated reason, anyway. I think we will want a month to shake things out in the M's lineup. Maybe the stated reason will be to give him more 1B time.
As an aside, last night I started and abandoned a thread about finding a RH COF (Stanton) bat by dangling Seager, Taylor and prospects. Jones or Blash would have to be part of that. I'm convinced that we have more than enough guys to weather a loss of Seager, if it gets us a mashing OF bat. In such a scenario, LoMo, Hart and Smoak are a 2 to make 3 deal. But aren't they in every set up? Franklin, maybe Romero, or even a Tenbrink/Bloomquist platoon will do at 3B if a Stanton comes this way. Seager, Taylor, Blash and Pike would at least get Miami's attention. This assumes Stanton is available, of course
But back to Montero: The one skill set he's established is the one the M's seem to be sniffing around for. He's not baseball dead, after all.

SonicBOOM!'s picture

Over on Spec's "Brainstorm" board, I've been rooting for Hector Noesi as a way to get some return from the trade of MIchael Pineda. But- after seeing Jesus Montero go deep a couple of times yesterday, I'm excited about perhaps redeeming the bat that prompted GMZ to give up Pineda in the first place. If Monetro can hit like this after lounging around all winter.... what could he do if he takes training seriously?!

IcebreakerX's picture

Or does it not come to mind that Abraham Almonte probably would have ended up in the bin and not a potential starter had he come up in the organization?


Not quite that bad, Griz! :)
But Stanton is a very young RH mashing COF who isn't a project, but a proven talent, one so rare that his B-R comps are Juan Gonzales, Tony Conigliario and Boog Powell.
The worst of his 4 season's OPS+ wise, is equal to the best of Seager's 3 seasons. And we have guys who can roughly approximate what Seager does. I don't know if he's available, Miami says not, but if he is we should make a nice offer. He will soon get real expensive, however. Will we absorb 3 aircraft carrier contracts? I don't know. If we don't get him, I'm OK. Heck, I've pushed that we chase Scott Van Slyke, who I really like, too. I still want him. He was able to be had, I think. But a RH COF bat has been a need for a long time. I've been running ideas out all winter. Alas, the M's don't listen! :) (understandably, of course)

topherdig's picture

Hi Moe, keep running out your ideas I like them and I Love this blog...and I TRUST that Jack Z is finally getting it right.


Take this post for what its worth from one of Montero's biggest jilted fans:

Here, we have the bond rating system.  A bond is something akin to a promissory note issued by a company or a government wherein the institution borrows money and promise to pay it back over a term of years.  As you can see from the chart above, you have S&P's system for rating the trustworthiness of the institution that issued the bond.  The highest trustworthiness rating is AAA.  That is, there is no perceived threat or history of default absent extraordinary circumstances.  The United States enjoys a AAA rating with respect to its bonds.  
At the bottom end of the spectrum there are the risky bonds, and at the very bottom are the bonds that are defaulted on.
Baseball players, like all people, are the same way.  Each carries his own trustworthiness rating everywhere he goes.  What we all consider as the most trustworthiness of ballplayers, is Kyle Seager or Robinson Cano.  These are guys who are always perfectly fit, who have no injury history, and who are always positive and working to hone their craft.  Absent an act of God or a root canal, those players will man their post and do their thing.  Felix and maybe Kuma are AAA most trustworthy as far as pitchers go, which is probably an A rating if you are comparing your confidence in them to the Seagers of the world.  
A defaulted player, or a "D" rating on the trustworthiness scale, would be Gutierrez, who is trustworthy as a person but completely untrustworthy as a baseball player.
We've been over this on Spec's blog, but, Montero has had so many hits to his reliability that in most folks estimation, he is only a notch above default level trustworthiness.  Weight and steroids are not a huge deal for me in evaluating Montero's baseball trustworthiness.  As Kyle Seager notes, fat guys rake.  What is a big deal is  Montero's apparent untrainability.  He has no offseason regimen, and he quit the Lara Cardinales over a cut on his knuckle.  This isn't a guy who lives in Peoria and practices at the park every day like Brandon Maurer, or like Dustin Ackley, who is rich enough to own his own gym in Michigan.  Almost all professional athletes have their own training regimen, or their team or agent have a regimen for them.  Montero has done zero training two years in a row.  He apparently dissapears into Venezuela and then shows up during Spring.  
I don't blame Z in the least for being extremely angry at Montero.  He's the investor who bought the bond, and he thought he was getting Mike Piazza.  His job depends on his investments, and his shareholders have grumbled at him regarding this matter.  Further, Pineda has all appearances of a return to form, "playoff caliber" slider and all.  
Docs argument is very sound, and he may be the voice of reason for all of us who bought too highly into Montero.  His argument is how can we call a guy borderline default who has American League results, and who has no injury history?  Doc may be right.  But, if a person can't find the ambition to go to the cage or lift a few weights two hours per day,  three days per week, what can you count on him for? There is a way around this.  From my understanding, Montero is in his last option year.  So, the Mariners could use him as an exclusive lefty killer benchie as long as his bat stays hot, and then option him to  Tacoma during his first or second slump.  Then, bring up or acquire your next lefty killer benchie, D.J. or Vicedio or whoever to take his spot.  Next year, if shennanigans continue, the Mariners may have to cut bait.  I'm not on board with axing LoMo however.  He is his own special kind of blue chip, and he sounds pretty good on the radio.  Let the wookie play.  

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.