Just over a week ago the Seattle Mariners demoted Jesus Montero down to Triple-A Tacoma, considering the former top prospect’s disappointing showing both at and behind the plate. It was a move that appeared to have been coming for some time, though it remains unclear what Seattle’s long term intentions are for the catcher. Of course those plans may all be moot at this point, as the team announced Saturday that an examination by team physicians found that Montero had torn the meniscus in his right knee, will need surgery, and will miss four to six weeks of action. Surgery has not yet been scheduled.
Montero batted just .208/.264/.327 in 110 PA prior to the demotion. He’s hit .250/.300/.429 in 30 PA in the minor leagues since.
Speculation has already begun that the Mariners will utilize this opportunity to begin a permanent shift in Montero’s position defensively, most likely converting him into a first baseman. The team has other depth behind the plate in Mike Zunino, minimizing the need for Montero to remain at the position. That depth, coupled with the disappointing track that Justin Smoak has taken since arriving in Seattle has lead the charge in the calls for Montero to play first base.