Miguel Montero broke bad on the Chicago Cubs to the media. Now Anthony Rizzo is firing back with not-so-subtle burns as the Cubs designate Montero for assignment.
Chicago Cubs star Anthony Rizzo as fired back at backup catcher Miguel Montero about comments Montero made after a 6-1 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday night that saw the Nats notch seven stolen bases.
Montero originally made the comments intending to place the blame for the swiped bags on starter Jake Arrieta and his slow delivery to the plate. Now it seems Rizzo didn’t take too kindly to Montero’s “wasn’t me” routine.
The Chicago Sun-Times has some quotes from Rizzo’s appearance on WMVP in Chicago:
"Rizzo criticized Montero’s decision to talk to the media rather than address the matter privately. “He’s frustrated. He’s obviously frustrated. When anytime anyone steals seven bases, Miggy gets frustrated.“It’s his second time barking at the media and not just going to his teammates. As a veteran like he is, you’d think he’d make smart decisions about it.”Montero had criticized Maddon during an radio interview for lack of communication and lack of playing time in the regular season and postseason.“We win as a team and we lose at a team. When you start pointing fingers, I think that labels you as a selfish player.”"
Even alone, that kind of blistering rhetoric from Rizzo makes his point clear: You don’t speak out of school on issues regarding teammates. Even glaring issues that help cost the team wins.
Rizzo wasn’t done, though, and a tweet from the WMVP twitter account has the following quote:
Forget warning shots, Anthony Rizzo just broadsided Miguel Montero. This being the second time the Cubs as a team—and individually—have had to answer for Montero’s comments to the media, it comes as no surprise that the Cubs acted swiftly, designating Montero for assignment, per multiple sources. Here is Sahadev Sharma, Cubs beat writer for The Athletic:
Montero, it would seem, has supremely overvalued his skill set and what he brings to the Cubs. Through 112 plate appearances, Montero has a slash line of .286/.366/.439. While those may be desirable offensive figures from a catcher, the last time Montero got extended playing time in 2014 with the Diamondbacks he finished the season with an uninspired line of .243/.329/.370.
On the defensive side, Montero’s efforts have ranged from merely below average to awful. According to StatCorner, Montero’s pitch-framing abilities have cost the Cubs just under one run compared to the league average, a sharp downturn in the ability that kept earning him lineup slots in both 2015 and 2016, when he was more than 12 runs better than league average. As for keeping runners in check, Montero has been dreadful the last two seasons, throwing out just 8 percent of runners trying to swipe a bag on him.
Speaking truth or not, keeping it real or not, the headaches caused by Montero were simply not worth his declining glove and so-so bat. His replacement, Victor Caratini, 23, has a batting line of .343/.384/.539 through 68 games for the Cubs’ AAA affiliate.