Having never seen pitches as nasty as what Brandon League threw in Saturday night’s wins vs. the A’s, Jesus was uncharacteristically on the receiving end of several miracles. At this point, the Mariners don’t seem willing to break Jesus Montero in as a catcher. At time of publication, lineups weren’t posted. But since John Jaso is yet to start a game behind homeplate and Eric Wedge has a man-crush on Miguel Olivo, one could place a fairly safe bet that Montero will not receive pitches from Kevin Millwood.
And who better on the staff for a young, inexperienced but preternaturally talented catcher to gather in-game experience with than an old, over-experienced wily veteran like Millwood? Millwood will call his own pitches. He’ll call pitch outs. He’ll call pick-offs. He’ll throw inside when guys are crowding the plate. He’ll tell Montero when he’s going to bounce one up to the plate. Outside of donning the armor and physically catching the ball, with the occasional throw-out of a would-be-thief, Millwood will perform all of the dutires that a catcher would otherwise be expected to perform.
Montero’s first start behind the plate came in Millwood’s mastery of the Rangers, so maybe Wedge and I are on the same page. We’ll see.
In Jesus Montero’s 2 games started behind the plate this year, he’s gone 3-6 with a double, HR, Sac Fly, and 4 RBI.
Conversely, Miguel Olivo, who has appeared in 10 games this year, has just 4 hits in 36 AB’s. Olivo has just 3 RBI in the early days of this young campaign.
It’s a tiny sampling and probably means very little, but definitely worth watching.
Geoff Baker weighs in on Montero’s time behind the dish today: