Jesus Montero is raking in AAA right now. After another 3-5 night, he’s now up to .423/.423/.558 on the year, with 1 home run and 4 doubles in 52 plate appearances. Understandably, there has been quite a bit of commotion to call him up as soon as possible. I don’t think we’ll be seeing him anytime soon though and it’s probably more prudent to wait. Here are my quick 3 reasons.
1. Russell Martin has been playing better than anyone probably expected. Whether we’ll see that going forward, I have no idea. To this point though, there’s no need to replace a catcher hitting .314/.375/.608. He also happens to not be a total liability with the glove which is something of a novelty for Yankee fans when combined with above average offensive ability. Again, it’s all a very small sample size and I doubt we’ll see him continue to hit this well going forward. Posada as the DH has performed much worse, however his shaky early start (.160/.276/.460) has a lot to do with a poor BABIP (.094- yes that’s a zero). In addition to his bad luck I seriously doubt Girardi or Cashman would consider making a serious change less than 100 at bats into the season. If things hold and Martin continues to hit well but Posada does not then sometime later in May or June I think it would be conceivable to see some sort of rotation with Montero mixed in, some days catching and others DHing.
2. Right now April has allotted the Yankees some extra off days and because of the scheduling quirk and some weather issues, a backup catcher has barely been needed. Gustavo Molina has had 3 at bats to this point. After tonight though, the Yankees aren’t off again until May 9th. Looking at the weather forecast (a haphazard task, I’m aware) and knowing how the New York region is this time of year, I doubt many would be surprised if there was another rainout in the future. What I’m really getting at is that playing time may be hard to come by at this point in the year.
3. To this point while Montero has hit extremely well, he still hasn’t taken a walk and his defense remains poor. To this point, he’s only thrown out 13% of base stealers which is actually below his career average of 21%. Montero has never been a guy to take a ton of walks, which is certainly fine considering the way he can hit but it may be in the best interest of everyone if he settles back into his regular approach.
I certainly want to see Montero in the majors at some point this year. What I would hate to see though is him called up to a situation where he doesn’t have regular playing time and withers on the bench. I don’t think that the Yankee organization would let this happen thankfully. So I’m going to be patient and trust they’ll call him up when the situation presents itself.
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