The Yankees Need to Call Up Montero…NOW

jesus-monteroThis isn’t an overreaction to the Yankees being swept by the Red Sox, as bad as that was it was just three games after all. However, the Yankees do need to call up Jesus Montero for help simply because he is the most fit to do the job they need done.

First of all, Russell Martin is hurt. He has a back injury that not only kept him out of the last two games, but it was bad enough that they had to send him for an MRI to get checked out. Combine that with a knee injury that needed surgery over the offseason and Martin’s body seems like a ticking time bomb.

Martin really isn’t getting the job done at the plate either. Sure, his overall numbers are good. He’s played good defense while putting up a .785 OPS or a 113 OPS+. However, most of that came from a hot start to the season where he hit .328 with a 1.099 OPS over the first 17 games of the year.

Since April 25 he has been downright bad though, hitting just .189 with a .614 OPS. Those are bad numbers even from a good defensive catcher. The Yankees might as well of re-signed Jose Molina if they want a catcher with those numbers.

Francisco Cervelli doesn’t offer much relief either. He can’t even throw the ball down to second base he’s that bad defensively and he isn’t much better with the stick either. In just 42 plate appearances this year, he is hitting just .222 with a .654 OPS and a 78 OPS+.

Now Montero can’t provide the defense Martin has been able to provide, but he certainly is the best hitter of the three. Also, I don’t care what people say about his defense, he can’t be worse than Cervelli. If he can throw the ball to second base without the runners consistently taking third then he’s ahead of the game.

Ideally the Yankees would call him up and have him split the rest of the season with Martin behind the plate and have Montero DH a few times a week as well. That way they get some quality at bats from their catcher for a change and some good defense from Martin a few times a week as well. Who knows, maybe if Martin isn’t playing so much his bat might come back to the April form none of us can seem to forget.

Call up Montero, now!

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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12 Responses to The Yankees Need to Call Up Montero…NOW

  1. DSRG says:

    Montero hasn’t been lighting up the IL lately. He was batting over .400 in April, but his line every game since then has been 1 for 4 with a strikeout or two. Also, his power is down this season (only 3 HR’s…Jorge Vazquez has 20). Maybe he’s bored, but maybe they have him figured out. I suppose some work with Kevin Long would help. Despite the struggles, he’s probably a better hitter than Martin or Cervelli right now.

  2. Montero has been battling an eye infection that he's supposedly over. As for the homers, scouts seem to think that he's pressing as he's so close to the majors that he can taste it. There is a good chance that will carry over to the majors once he gets here, but the only way to get over that is to get here and get used to being a major leaguer. After a few weeks the shine will wear off and we'll get to see what Montero can really do.

    • jim p says:

      I’m not used to seeing reason on the internet. Thank you.

      Unless Montero has his spirit absolutely crushed in the majors by big-league pitching, I don’t see how you go wrong with getting him used to “having arrived” and more than a half-season under his belt.

      As to catching skills, he’s got 2 excellent coaches in Girardi & Pena, plus there’s Martin & Posada on the bench to clue him in on the pitchers.

  3. David K. says:

    I said it before, I don't understand why they didn't bring up this kid when they broke camp in spring. All they did was waste 60 games and we still have no idea how good Montero will be in the majors, defensively or offensively. And it's not like they had great backup catchers for Martin either.

  4. Now is definitely time to bring Montero, but also Vazquez.
    Just like everybody has said, Montero could have some bad experiences at the begining and his defense couldn't be worse than Cervelli or Posada during the last years.
    The same for Vazquez, his numbers are very good, he faced good pitchers during the spring training and his numbers were awesome too, Jones Posada and Swisher aren't hitting very good and Posada won't be better than him defensively at 1st.

  5. hardnose says:

    it would be a mistake to bring Montero to the Bronx now…1) he's in a huge slump and needs to come out of it at AAA…do you really believe that he battles out of this slump in the majors…2) if he can't hit when promoted, Montero will lose value in a potential trade…like it or not, Cashman will trade him if a deal looks good enough…3) he continues to struggle defensively and needs to catch everyday…he won't get that chance in New York…4) Posada is hitting and the Yankees are not going to make this guy a DH while giving him the backup catchers position…you can make a case that Montero isn't any worse than Cervelli behind the plate but it would be a waste to have Montero catch every 5th day while sitting him for the other 4…keep him at AAA for now…

    • 1. He is not in a huge slump, he is not getting as many extra base hits because he's pressing to impress. I expect that to carry over to the majors, but expect that to happen whenever he is called up, now in 2 months, or in 2 years. The point is, he's going to have to work through that no matter what and no matter when.
      2. General mangers are smart. They know what he is by now. Having him play in the majors will not significantly impact his trade value one way or another. Besides, there appears to be nothing on the market worth trading him for anyway.
      3. The entire point is that Cervelli and Martin both suck. I would expect Montero to get at least half the time behind the plate. The Yankees were OK with this in the spring and said so.
      4. Posada is 39 years old. He is on a short hot streak right now, but don't fool yourself into thinking he's A. good again or B. that he will play against lefties.

      Montero is ready for the majors. Keeping him in the minors is not going to help him and it is hurting the Yankees having such bad catchers and DH's.

      • hardnose says:

        1. He is in a huge slump…since early May he has been hitting .150, that's after a torrid start…guess what, THAT'S HUGE!

        2. There are always deals to be had on the trade market. GM's know that next year's free agent crop is thin again and may try to unload some pitchers, not many but don't be surprised…not brining Montero up early in the season put GM's on notice that he's not ready for the big leagues…GM's are weary about trading for a one dimensional player…you almost eliminate the NL teams because Montero's defense is his achilles heel…and why do you think that Seattle went with the Texas deal that brought Justin Smoak to Seattle…it was because although Smoak is not a defensive wizard, he was considered at least adequate at his position. Montero wasn't and was clearly the better hitter at that point.

        3. Montero will not get 1/2 the time behind the plate. The Yankees have 2 new pitchers, a rookie basically in Nova and AJ the headcase…the Yankees do not want a defensively challenged catcher handling these pitchers…there's a reason why they went out and got Martin

        4. How do you know that Posada is on a short hot streak. Don't jinx the guy. He is 39 years old but he's the DH until he proves otherwise.

        I've been watching Montero since he was signed by the Yankees and I've seen him at each level. I hope he has a great career as a Yankee but there's a reason why he's still in the minors and as much as you believe he should be brought up and as much as we all want to see what he's capable of doing at the big league level, many people do not share your opinion, especially those who make the decisions…

  6. hardnose says:

    I would also say that other GM's will be wary of trading decent talent for Montero…we will find out what Jesus Montero can do in the Bronx, I don't think the Yankees will trade him for horse manure…

    • Look around the league, there is nothing worth trading him for right now and it doesn't seem like anybody big is going to be hitting the market either.

  7. Jesus Montero is terrible behind the plate, scouts say, but Cervelli isn't much better. I mean, if you reach first base–especially with Burnett or Freddy Garcia on the mound who have high leg kicks–just steal second, pop up and go to third, because Cervelli's throws just tail into centerfield. I'm sure Montero can't be that much worse, but I hear he handcuffs balls and has trouble blocking the breaking stuff in the dirt. But, they need his offense, and Cervelli is a very light hitter with not much power. Sure he can have the rare night in which he goes 3-4, but he's got almost zero power.

  8. stevehenn says:

    Couldn't agree more, Montero needs to be with this team right now. He could inject a little bit of the same life that Cano injected into the team when he was first called up, even though the Yankees have won two straight.

    However, there must be a reason as to why he is not on the 25 man roster currently. Is it lack of AAA experience, the eye infection, or is it something that only Brian Cashman and staff know?

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