Kim Jones said something that really grabbed my attention yesterday doing a fill-in show on WFAN with co-host Sid Rosenberg. A caller suggested bringing up Jesus Montero, in an effort to get the moribund Yankee offense going. (Note: There isn’t a transcript available to link to, so I’m just recounting what I heard) She responded with this:
Kim Jones: “Well, every time you hear his name brought up among the Yankee brass, they say he has an issue with his work ethic. And that’s the kind of tag that gets stuck to you forever”
Woah! I heard Girardi and Long say he was “a little soft” in Spring Training, which means he showed up to camp out of shape. That’s more common on other teams than it is on the Yanks, and since he’s young I’ll cut him some slack there. But I also remember he had a run-in with his AAA manager where he failed to run out a ground ball and that resulted in a short suspension. But the way she said it, it wasn’t just an isolated incident. So I shot out some e-mails and posted some comments to see what I could find out. Donnie Collins of the Times-Tribune SWB Yankee blog gave me this reply in last night’s game thread:
I’ve hear they aren’t thrilled with some of what he does. But every time I ask about Montero’s offense, I’m told he’s working everyday with Butch Wynegar in the batting cage. And every time I ask about his defense, they say he works with Wynegar and Julio Mosquera and has made strides.
He’s 20. And 20 year olds who have extraordinary talent aren’t often the hardest workers. But I’ve heard both sides on him. I’ve heard rumors that he doesn’t work hard, and I’ve been told first hand that he’s trying his best. I take it all with a grain of salt.
For his part, Montero says he works very hard. He talks about it all the time. All. The. Time.
It would seem Jesus doth protest too much. After shooting around some e-mails, I’ll just say that I’ve heard the brass read him the riot act around June, and he’s been hitting ever since. Toss that in with their willingness to trade him last season for Roy Halladay and at the July 31st deadline this year for both Joakim Soria and Cliff Lee and it adds up to something worth keeping an eye on. When a team dangles a player that often, they often know something the rest of us don’t.
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