Sometimes players get assessed by other in terms of their physical fitness when they arrive at camp. In this case, Montero had a small confession.
As noted by The News Tribune:
“I gained a lot of weight in my country,” he admitted. “So, now, I’m on a program to lose weight. I’m working really hard to get my weight back. I wasn’t doing nothing (after finishing winter ball), just eating.”
Did Montero really admit this? Apparently so.
You certainly appreciate the honesty, but this does not bode well for Montero’s future. He does know that his options are limited at this point, right?
Indications are that Montero is finished behind the dish. That leaves first base or designated hitter. Translation?
Montero had better find his hitting stroke. And quickly.
It is a little early in Montero’s career to be limiting his skill set. The Mariners have a number of guys that might fit into the role of 1B/DH. Justin Smoak comes to mind. As do Corey Hart and Logan Morrison, mostly due to an inability to play the outfield. If Montero is going to compete for a spot on this roster, he had better get in shape.
Not only does he have to get in shape, but he has to show the Mariners that he can truly live up to the hype that originally brought him to Seattle. Montero was the centerpiece of the Michael Pineda trade, and at the time the Mariners had some high expectations.
Granted, Pineda’s career hasn’t exactly unfolded as planned either. Still, Montero was once a highly-regarded hitter. Then again, that might have been at least partially due to an assumption that he was good just because he was on the New York Yankees. We’ve been fooled by that one before.
Now, Montero is just an out-of-shape former prospect that is fighting for a job. Best wishes, Mr. Montero. Your opportunities may be lessening by the day unless you start getting hits to all fields.