The Mariners get started against the Rockies in less than an hour and ordinarily I don't like to put posts up this close to game time. But Larry Stone just shared a bunch of tweets quoting Eric Wedge talking about Jesus Montero, and I figured I might as well get them up on LL because I'm not doing anything else. Now I have something to do, and it's always better to have direction. Idle hands and all that.
The tweets, pasted together:
Wedge on Montero sitting again: "He needs it. We've talked about it. When there was all the business early about him playing every day...- he's just not ready to play every day."
Wedge said poor recent swings by Montero are "a red flag. It tells you mentally he's not in a place he needs to be right now..., which is not uncommon for a young player. "
Jesus Montero really has kind of looked like crap lately. The other day in Cleveland was a disaster. He hasn't homered since the first game of the Yankees series, and since that game, he's gone 2-for-19 with nine strikeouts. Yesterday he looked helpless in two at-bats off the bench.
Eric Wedge has the temerity to get on Jesus Montero for bad swings, while supporting Miguel Olivo and all of his bad swings? What kind of managerial favoritism is this, and what did Olivo do to earn it?
So Montero is wearing down because he isn't ready to play every day. Last year Miguel Olivo played practically every day, or at least that's what it seemed like. Through May, he had a .651 OPS and three strikeouts per walk. After May, he had a .633 OPS and 30 strikeouts per walk. Miguel Olivo's approach completely fell apart. 30 strikeouts per walk! Why was Miguel Olivo playing so much?
Why did I just turn something about Jesus Montero into something about Miguel Olivo? I'm not in a rational state of mind. Did Eric Wedge say anything objectionable about Montero? No, no, I don't think he did. Montero has definitely looked bad of late. Montero has definitely had a lot on his plate. Wedge's job is to evaluate these things, and he's better informed than I am, and if he doesn't think Montero is an everyday player, who am I to disagree? Just how brilliant do I think I am?
It's not even necessarily criticism, it's just honesty. Look at the way Wedge closes: "which is not uncommon for a young player." Jesus Montero is very young. We want him to be right now what we want him to be in three years. That is unrealistic. This is a development season, and most players don't just show up and be awesome. What we have to do is track progress, and all of the young players are actively learning. This is about hoping players are better in August and September than they are in April and May, and hopefully Montero takes something away from this. There were always going to be stumbling blocks. It isn't fair to expect smooth sailing. I don't know why there are stumbling blocks in the water. Icebergs?
A lot of people are frustrated with the Mariners right now, and when fans are frustrated with a baseball team, fans are frustrated with the baseball team's manager. Eric Wedge isn't a very popular guy on the Internet at the moment, and my instinctive response to his Montero quotes was to be combative. That's my problem, not his. So that's where Jesus Montero stands right now, in his manager's eyes. The more you know. If Montero needs breaks, Montero needs breaks, and you can't force stamina.