The Seattle Mariners sent former top prospect Jesus Montero down to Triple A.
Montero, once a prized prospect in the Yankees’ organization, was called up on July 9 and played his first major-league game in nearly a year the following day. He played in five games during his brief major-league return, exclusively against left-handed pitching, and went 3 for 10 with no extra-base hits.
The Mariners will announce a corresponding roster move on Monday, but they are expected to recall starting pitcher J.A. Happ from Class A Bakersfield, according to Bob Dutton of The News Tribune. Happ was sent down prior to the All-Star break because the break allowed Seattle to carry an extra batter in lieu of a starter.
Montero, 25, was traded to Seattle as part of the deal that sent Michael Pineda to New York before the 2012 season. He batted .260 in his first season with the Mariners, splitting time between catcher and designated hitter. His career was derailed, though, after a 2013 season plagued by injuries and a 50-game performance-enhancing drug suspension. He then showed up to spring training in 2014 reportedly 40 pounds overweight.
In August 2014 while on a rehab assignment, Montero went after a Mariners scout with a bat after the scout taunted him with an ice cream sandwich. Montero was suspended for the rest of the season and the scout’s contract was not renewed.
Montero reported to spring training this year looking considerably slimmer and batted .332 with 15 home runs, 12 doubles and five triples in 84 Triple A games this season. He batted .545 with nine extra-base hits in his last 11 games before the call-up.
- Dan Gartland