Mariners sending Jesus Montero to Tacoma
By Shannon Drayer
We have been suggesting this move for the better part of two weeks and as Ryan Divish of The News Tribune reports this morning, Jesus Montero has been sent to Tacoma. Jesus Sucre is being called up.
The move has yet to be announced.
I don’t have confirmation of who comes off the 40-man roster to make room for Sucre but from what I am hearing it is not someone currently on the 25-man roster. It doesn’t appear that they are making a move with Robert Andino or Aaron Harang to make room for Sucre.
The move is for Sucre and not Mike Zunino as Zunino is not ready for the promotion and they will be careful in assessing when that is. Sucre is a good, defensive backup catcher, light bat but good with the pitchers. He earned good reviews behind the plate both last year and this spring. He caught the eyes of others also as two scouts from other teams asked me about his ability in Arizona as they were interested in him as a major-league backup.
As for Montero, this may be a move that is more about getting the bat going or improving his catching. Backup catcher Brandon Bantz is being called up from Double-A to Triple-A, which would indicate that Montero is not going to be catching much, at least for the time being. I was told about two weeks ago that the organization was thinking of getting him work at first base. That, of course, could not happen at the major-league level.
So Montero is down, Sucre is on his way. If Sucre lives up to his defensive reputation this could provide a little more stability behind the plate. He is not expected to bring much with the bat. Montero now goes to work, perhaps to learn a new position but most importantly to get back to the hitter he was that earned him top-prospect status.
This is not a punishment for Montero. This is about getting him to where he should be, which is a win-win for everyone.