There has already been news that Montero was out of shape, but no one anticipated he was 40 pounds over the weight the Mariners had assigned. General manager Jack Zduriencik did not seem happy about the situation, saying he no longer has any expectations for Montero.
Montero didn't seem too concerned about the weight gain. "I feel comfortable with my weight" he said. "But they want me to lose some weight. Whatever they want. I’m here for the opportunity."
Montero admitted all he did was eat following winter ball. He'll compete for a spot on the 25-man roster in the spring, but seems like a long shot to break camp in the majors given his conditioning.
Patience is running thin in Seattle in regard to disappointing
Montero batted just .208 last season, which ended prematurely due to a suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. He struggled so greatly behind the plate that he has been moved to first base. He is not expected to break camp with the Mariners.
"He's at a crossroads. It's time to either put up or shut up," Lloyd McClendon frankly told the Tacoma News-Tribune.
Montero is coming off a horrible season in which he struggled at and behind the plate. He has since been moved to first base. He batted just .208 with a .254 on-base percentage before being struck down by the Biogenesis scandal that resulted in a 50-game suspension.
Zduriencik said he'll be happy if Montero is able to break camp with the team, but added that they aren't pinning their hopes on Montero. "If you are bringing him in here and counting on him, I think that's a little too risky at this point," Zduriencik said. "I think you’d be foolish to say you were counting on this guy."
With Mike Zunino taking over behind the plate, and Corey Hart and Justin Smoak fighting it out at first and DH, there's not a spot for Montero on the roster. He can possibly hit his way into the team's plans with a strong spring, but it's hard to see him beating out the current options right now. Zduriencik seems to agree.
Justin Smoak looked like he was having a breakout season in 2013, hitting .273 with an .821 OPS as late as Aug. 16, but he hit just .152 with a .562 OPS the rest of the way. After another failed attempt to secure the starting catcher job, Montero was sent to the minors to learn first base before getting hit with a 50-game suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis clinic. He also had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
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