Breaking news: Franklin Gutierrez out for all of 2014 due the return of his stomach issues.
Hisashi Iwakuma will miss Opening Day due to strained tendon in a finger on his throwing hand. Common knowledge by now.
So do they drop the Nelson Cruz idea and focus on a starter? [OK, with Guti out, they probably do go ahead and pursue Cruz.]
Or do they keep the Cruz idea and focus on a starter?
Or skip the idea of an additional starter?
I say: no panic move (as in: Ervin Santana). We know that Erasmo Ramirez and Brandon Maurer didn’t step up last year, but no use upsetting the apple cart until we know what they look like this spring. Someone who could also relieve and doesn’t cost a draft pick (as in: Erik Bedard)? Sure.
Didn’t you used to be Jesus Montero?
The one-time top prospect has had a long string of misfortune — some self-inflicted, some not.
- being really bad at baseball
- losing his job as a catcher — permanently
- injuring his knee
- getting suspended for using PEDs from Biogenesis
- injuring his hand in a car accident
- and … let’s just hope that’s everything
So 2014 rolls around, and his solution is: eat.
He says after Winter Ball ended (reportedly due to the car accident, although the Bob Dutton report linked above doesn’t mention it), he wasn’t doing anything but eating.
Maybe not the best plan. And now he’s trying to furiously lose weight.
Let’s re-live the Montero glory days, however. Here are Montero’s Spectometer minor-league results. Greater than 100 indicates a likelihood of MLB success:
- 2007 (age 17): 103-85-88
- 2008 (age 18): 87-93-80
- 2009 (age 19): 111-118-129
- 2010 (age 20): 106-116-122
- 2011 (age 21): 78-84-62
- 2013 (age 23): 66-69-35
And his MLB results, where greater than 100 indicates above-average:
- 2011 (age 21): 116-130-146
- 2012 (age 22): 75-88-63
- 2013 (age 23): 82-84-66
The M’s obtained him after that 2011 season, and he’s yet to show the form that got him noticed.
I say: the ’09 and ’10 stats are very much home-run driven, and at a rate that he hasn’t consistently maintained. Whether PED-enhanced or not, we can’t expect those rates to necessarily return. Montero has also been very good at maintaining a low K-rate, although he’s had bouts when he gets off-track there as well. He can get that back. If he does, and reverts to cranking out doubles, he can still make it.
But as a “pure hitter” (1b/DH with no catching), he’s got a lot less margin of error.