His name isn't the most noteworthy on the list on a national scale, but to the Seattle Mariners he his. Seattle officially lost Jesus Montero today when MLB announced 13 suspensions for players tied to the anti-aging Biogenesis clinic in Florida. It is suspected that any players have already forgone their rights to appeal their suspensions as part of their agreements to the terms of these suspensions.
His suspension is the first tied to PEDs for the Seattle organization since minor league catcher Christian Carmichael received a 50-game suspension for a positive test (methylhexaneamine) in early February of 2012. Michael Morse ,(September 7, 2005) and outfielder Jamal Strong (April 26, 2005)were the last two MLB players to receive PED suspensions for the Mariners (all according to Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball). Montero's suspension will be served over the remaining major league season (51 games) as he is a member of the 40-man roster. Tacoma only has 28 games left in their regular season.
Montero came to Seattle in exchange for right-hander Michael Pineda prior to the 2012 season in a rare prospect-for-prospect move between the Mariners and New York Yankees. A highly regarded hitting prospect across the industry, Montero was productive as a rookie for Seattle in 2012, mostly serving as the team's designated hitter while hitting .260/.298/.386 with 15 home runs and 62 RBI in 135 games during his 22-year-old season. But he was inserted as the starting catcher in 2013 and that pressure appeared to never allow his bat to get going.
He struggled defensively and at the plate, first losing playing time and then eventually his starting job to Kelly Shoppach, and as it became more evident that Mike Zunino was going to be ready at some point here in 2013, the Mariners made the decision to make the permanent move with Montero out from behind the plate. He caught one game for Tacoma after his demotion, but that ended quickly. He had a knee injury that required surgery and weeks of rehab. Since his return he really hasn't gotten his bat going and Montero will see his 2013 season end with a slash of .247/.317/.425 and a 29.3% strikeout rate in 19 Triple-A games this season.
Montero will be eligible to return at the start of the 2014 season, but there are many more questions than answers in regards to his future with the Mariners, and this suspension only dampens the outlook for Jesus's future in Seattle.
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