Jesus Montero Might Be Playing Himself Out of a Job

New York Yankees Jesus MonteroVia John Harper of NY Daily News:

“He hasn’t played well recently,” Cashman said after watching [Jesus Montero] catch in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to the Orioles. “He’s better than what he’s shown recently, catching-wise.

“He’s been struggling with the bat, and I don’t know if it’s cause-and-effect. I just know that last year he didn’t start catching well (in Triple-A) until he started hitting. And from June on, both went through the roof.”

Montero had a slim chance to make the team out of spring training, but after Francisco Cervelli hurt his foot his chances went through the roof and suddenly the backup job became his to lose. Things were going well early on as well as Montero’s defense looked much better than it had been advertised.

The problem is that Montero started struggling at the plate and although numbers don’t mean much in the spring it is bad when his struggles at the plate carry over to the field. Now the Yankees have to worry that their backup catcher will start the season struggling at the plate and behind it. Part of the problem is that Cashman said this happened last season. Montero struggled at the plate in Scranton and that carried over to his defense. When he started hitting, his defense picked up as well.

So now the Yankees are left to consider carrying Austin Romine behind the plate as their backup because they’re worried that Montero could struggle both offensively and defensively. There is trouble in that as well though as Romine might not be quite ready for the majors having never played above the Double-A level. That’s what may cause some people to mention the name Bengie Molina, although the fact that Cervelli should be returning by May makes that scenario very unlikely.

At this point it is hard to say what is going to happen. The Yankees may have no choice but to stick with Montero at this point just until Cervelli comes back. Spring training stats are usually unimportant, the Yankees know this and they’ll probably end up putting their faith in that. One thing is becoming clear, Cervelli’s career with the Yankees isn’t over yet.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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24 Responses to Jesus Montero Might Be Playing Himself Out of a Job

  1. Mike S. says:

    One problem is that even though Montero hasn't hit much in spring training so far (a nice double on Sunday, which I saw, just missed a HR), Romine hasn't hit at all; worse than Montero. Gustavo Molina (no relation to the brothers) doesn't do anything for me at all. As for who goes north, hmm… Gustavo Molina is 1 for 13. Montero 8 for 36. Romine 3 for 20. I dunno. I know Girardi is valuing the D, but … Montero by default? As you say, Montero until Cervelli is ready, then depending on how Montero does, a decision will then be made once Cervelli is ready.

    • The Pirate says:

      Agree with you, patience it's a virtue, the Yankees fans shall give a chance to Montero to prove how good he is.

    • The only problem I have with Montero at the plate is that it seems to effect his defense. Spring numbers don't worry me at all though so if they go with Romine, I wouldn't be very worried.

      Realistically, Cervelli will be back by about May. If Romine or Montero really aren't ready for the majors, they don't really have to play a whole lot.

      • Mike S. says:

        Very true. Take one north, get his feet wet (4 weeks x 2 games a week will be just 8 games) get Cervelli back.

        But we have to remember, Montero is 21, Romine 22. Separating one's D from one's offense can be difficult for veterans, needless to say, more difficult for rookies.

  2. Mike S. says:

    Just thinking. Ugh. But if both kids aren't ready and you take neither north, and you aren't catching Posada, Gustavo Molina impresses nobody, Benjie Molina can't be had…. hoo-boy, guess what. Chad Moeller was released by the Rockies on March 11th, and as far the familiarity issue for 4-5 weeks, … Like I wrote, hoo-boy. Like you said, hard to say what will happen, but…

  3. Franco Kotos says:

    Montero should start at AAA and play everyday. This will give him time to improve his defense and his bat will come around. When it does, he should be promoted, somewhere mid-season hopefully. Right now, Montero's trade value has taken a little hit and Cashman could let him go if the rotation starts failing this team.

    • Mike S. says:

      Who goes north, then as the backup? Would you take Romine north?

      • Franco Kotos says:

        I would be prepping Posada to catch as back up until Cervelli returns in early May. Taking Romine north sends the wrong message.

        • Mike S. says:

          But they say that Posada won't catch. I don't think he has caught one inning of spring training at all so far. That has to be taken into consideration. Therefore, I'd just bite the bullet for four weeks and take Montero.

          • Franco Kotos says:

            Mike, you're absolutely right but that's where the mistake was made. Earlier in the offseason even after they acquired Martin, Posada was told to stay in shape to catch, just in case. In spring training he was told not to suit up, Big mistake!

          • I'm not upset that a 40-year-old who couldn't catch three years ago wasn't properly prepared to catch this year. Especially when he's counted on as being the DH.

          • Franco Kotos says:

            We don't need a 40 year old catcher, catching everyday. We need a backup for Martin until Cervelli returns. Right now it looks like the Yankees are skeptical about Romine and Montero who need to be playing everyday. Montero could come up mid-season and use that time to get big league instruction but for now he needs to be behind the plate, honing his skills. Posada is a weak DH, he strikes out too much, is slow as shyte and with the exception of 2010, grounds into too many double plays. His 18 home runs and propensity to sometimes come up with big hits keeps him around but he's a poor man's DH imo. Love the guy but…

        • Posada is not an option at this point. Pick again.

          • The Pirate says:

            Please tell us your option at this point. Since you are very smart please You pick one again,i'm sure will be better than Montero.

  4. The Pirate says:

    Rob, please accept gratefully you fail with Montero. Look for an option fast, because Yankees future it's the 4th place in their division.

    • Unfortunately this is incoherent and I will not be able to respond.

      • The Pirate says:

        During the past months you have support in your articles and comments how great was Montero,probably without see him playing.Now your support it's not the same. Respectfully I ask ¿Do you ever play amateur and or pro-baseball?

        A person that have been playing baseball for many years and attending baseball games for 70 years, shall now a little of this sport and that it's my case. I'm sure that I have seen more players that yourself due to my age.

        What it's incoherent it's writing without the real facts in your hand. I hope as a Yankee fan for so many years that Martin play many games in good health and that Montero could get in shape a prove me I'm wrong, for the benefit of the Yankee my team.

        You don't need to respond this time if it's your wish. Good Luck in the coming season.

        • honestly, I'm not trying to be rude, but it's very hard to understand you.

          I'm not sure why you are attacking me. It's confusing. I like Montero, I support him and I still hope he makes the team out of spring training. One bad spring is absolutely meaningless. He's playing poorly at the plate right now and it has been carrying over to his defense. Because of that reason the Yankees might not carry him on the roster to start the season. It's understandable, but it hardly means that I support him less or that he is a bust. He just needs to get some games under his belt this season so that he can start to hit and feel comfortable at the plate and in the field again.

          • The Pirate says:

            I appreciate your reply me, we will have a long season and believe me I will look forward to continue reading your articles whether I agree or not.

            Once more time, Montero it's not ready yet, and agree with you that his defense need a lot to be improve, also agree he need plenty of games on his belt. I reference at the plate, he need some coaching by Long, he look at this moment like a dead dock against the sliders. But in two years he will be a good major league player.

          • Franco Kotos says:

            Montero's spring was terrible, not necessarily because he struggled at the plate or behind the plate but because other GM's will question whether or not he has the skills to make it in the big league, and this reduces his trade value. If Montero doesn't shine at AAA, there won't be a GM willing to trade a star pitcher to acquire Montero mid year. He would have to tear up the International League to regain the value he once had. It's true, that you can't base a kids future on 1 spring training season but this is a game of, seeing is believing and right now, Montero needs regroup and turn heads the next time he gets a chance.

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