With Michael Saunders being placed on the the 15-day disabled list after last night’s game, the Mariners had to make a roster move. A baseball source confirms that designated hitter/first baseman Jesus Montero is on his way to Seattle to take Saunders’ place on the roster.
Here’s Montero’s season stats …
Those are perfectly acceptable numbers, particularly considering the Mariners’ offensive issues now. But if you dig a little deeper, you will see that his home/road splits are pretty dramatic.
Of those five road home runs, four of them came in Las Vegas, Albuquerque and Reno … PCL hitters’ dreams. Knowing what we know about numbers in the PCL from this season, the numbers lose some of their shine. His last homer came on May 19. So it’s been over 140 ABs since then. If you are into the SABR side, Montero has a 105 wRC+ (hat tip to Dave Cameron) … that ranks him in the high 40s in the PCL – basically that’s less than average or expected for a utility type of middle infielder. To put it into more perspective, old friend Carlos Peguero and light-hitting Eugenio Velez have higher wRC+. Montero does have power and does have talent, but has his approach been fixed.
I’ve had a few scouts tell me that Montero is a disaster at first base. He’s committed nine errors there this year, and he still struggles with the basics. I would imagine he will mostly see time at DH. I would also expect to see him a lot against lefty starters, maybe not as much against right-handed starters.
So why Montero? Well he’s on the 40-man and the Mariners are running out of 40-man moves to use. Xavier Nady and Ty Kellly would have required 40-man moves. They could have called up either Abraham Almonte or Nick Franklin (10-day rule doesn’t apply for injury call-ups), who are both on the 40-man, but they chose Montero.
Like I said, Montero has some talent and he could contribute. He certainly has seen the bottom when it comes to the suspension and the weight issues of the offseason, perhaps he will use this opportunity for some redemption.