Can the Diamondbacks Please Give Miguel Montero a Break?
By Thomas Lynch
The D’backs need to limit or shut down Miguel Montero over the last 11 games of the season. Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
After the latest debacle, a 7-6 defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies after blowing a 6-1 lead, the Arizona Diamondbacks are now in last place. With nine games remaining, there is absolutely nothing left to play for. Another Andrew Chafin start would be nice as well as seeing Josh Collmenter set his career-high in wins. However, my one big wish has to do with someone not playing. In fact, if he didn’t play the rest of the season, it would not be such a bad thing.
The D’backs need to shut down Miguel Montero.
Wiz of Awes
I have nothing against Miggy. In fact, most fans like me love the guy, a catcher who routinely goes out and spends 130 games behind the plate and is very productive while doing it. I love the fact he wants to catch 162 games. However, it is clear he is beginning to wear down. Including last night’s 0 for 3, Montero is now 3 for his last 37. He has already caught 125 games, appeared in one as a designated hitter and made a couple of pinch-hitting appearances. There is no need to have the man catch meaningless games at the risk of sustaining a long-term injury when he is clearly fatigued.
Speaking of long-term, Montero is signed for the next three seasons at a total of $40 million dollars. He is already 31 and is in the top three in all of baseball of games caught over the past four seasons. For a team like Arizona who needs to be smart, not necessarily tight-fisted with their payroll, having the starting catcher’s production drop off dramatically with all that money left on the books would be a serious blow. I’m not saying that will happen to Montero but if this is the beginning of a steady decline, that is trouble. Did I mention that the least amount of depth in the organization is at catcher? Double Whammy.
Again, I love the competitiveness of Miguel Montero. I know that if Kirk Gibson told him he is not playing the rest of the season except as a pinch-hitter, it would be akin to telling someone in the desert he can’t have a glass of water. However, keeping Montero as healthy as possible, resting him even if it is against his will, is not only good for the player, it is also vital to the organization.