Tag: Miguel Montero

Miguel Montero Comments on Role with Cubs During World Series

Miguel Montero had two of the biggest hits for the Chicago Cubs during their postseason run that culminated in a World Series title, though the veteran catcher was not thrilled about playing a part-time role in October. 

Speaking on the Waddle and Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago (via ESPN.com), Montero explained his emotions coming off the bench throughout the playoffs.

“It was different for me,” Montero said. “It was a different emotion because I didn’t get a chance to play. I was a little disappointed, to be honest, because I felt like I did a good job in the regular season but was left out a little bit. It made me feel a little like not important or maybe not as good to be in this lineup.”

Montero went on to say his frustration at the situation stemmed from a lack of communication from the team:

I’m a veteran guy. They talk about veteran leadership. I have 11 years in the game and two All-Star [appearances]. I expected to be treated a little better. I was expected to get communication. Just let me know. Put me in the loop. That was the toughest part for me because I never understood what my role was going to be.

If Montero was feeling bad about not playing every night, he didn’t let it affect his performance. The 33-year-old had 12 at-bats during the postseason with just two hits, but both of them were critical for the Cubs. 

In Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, after the Los Angeles Dodgers tied the game at three in the top of the eighth, Montero came off the bench with the bases loaded and hit a grand slam to put the Cubs up 7-3. 

In Game 7 of the World Series, after entering the game in the bottom of the ninth, Montero had an RBI single in the top of the 10th inning that gave the Cubs their final run in an 8-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians. 

The Cubs had the best problem a team in professional sports can have: Too much talent. They were rotating outfielders like Jason Heyward and Jorge Soler, who would both be sure-fire starters on virtually every other team, during the World Series. 

Catching was a position in which the Cubs were breaking in Willson Contreras during the season and David Ross was Jon Lester’s personal catcher, so this left Montero with few chances to play full games after the month of May. 

Montero is still under contract through next season, and with Ross retiring, he could see an uptick in playing time.

Contreras will get the first crack at being the team’s starter, with Montero needing to improve his .684 OPS and throw out better than 11 percent of base stealers if he wants an expanded role for the deepest team in Major League Baseball. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

New Year’s Resolutions for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015

With 2015 set to begin, the Arizona Diamondbacks have issues to address that ailed them throughout this past season. 

The D-Backs 2014 season ended 64-98the worst record in the MLB.

However, several injuries could be to blame for such a poor yearPaul Goldschmidt, Patrick Corbin, A.J. Pollock and Mark Trumbo, to name a few.

While these players should return in 2015, it is the offseason moves that should have fans excited. The most notable acquisition was Cuban power hitter Yasmany Tomas. Yet the D-Backs are still far from competing in the tough NL West Division.

Here are five New Year’s resolutions for Arizona in 2015.

Begin Slideshow

Changes the Arizona Diamondbacks Should Make Before Spring Training

Change is certainly on the wish list of Arizona Diamondbacks fans as the holiday season approaches. 

And with spring training and the regular season also approaching, change must happen now. The 2014 season was one to forget. The D-Backs finished 64-98worst in MLB.

Injuries to Patrick Corbin, Mark Trumbo, A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt all contributed to the struggle. It also likely led to the firing of Kirk Gibson and the hiring of new manager Chip Hale.

Corbin is projected to return to the rotation midway through the 2015 season. Goldschmidt should be fully healthy coming off a fractured left hand.

However, Arizona’s intriguing offseason moves to this point have already made headlines.

The most notable acquisition was Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas. He should provide much-needed power and protection for Goldschmidt in the lineup.

The D-Backs also acquired pitching depth in Jeremy Hellickson (from Tampa Bay) for prospects, and Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster (from Boston) for Wade Miley

Yet, there are still holes the organization needs to fill for a successful 2015 campaign. Here are some changes the D-Backs should make before spring training. 


Go After James Shields

D-Backs.com lists Josh Collmenter at the top of the rotation on the depth chart. Collmenter precedes De La Rosa, Hellickson and Webster.

With Corbin coming off Tommy John surgery, there are no guarantees regarding his return or performance. Arizona’s front office knows a top-of-the-rotation arm is needed to compete in the NL West.

Money is no longer the issue it once was now that the D-Backs sent Miguel Montero to the Cubs. Montero was scheduled to make $40 million over the next three years.

With some payroll flexibility, adding Shields would greatly bolster the rotation. Shields went 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA last season with the Royals, helping them reach the World Series. His durability also makes him an attractive commodity. Shields has started 30-plus games in each of the past eight seasons. 

Expect Arizona to take a look at Shields knowing that pitching has been a recent problem. Here is how the starting rotation would look midway through the 2015 season with Shields and a healthy Corbin. 

1. Patrick Corbin

2. James Shields

3. Josh Collmenter

4. Rubby De La Rosa

5. Jeremy Hellickson


Replace Miguel Montero

Losing Montero leaves Arizona with Tuffy Gosewisch as the starting catcher on the depth chart. That will certainly not suffice, especially on the offensive end. 

There are several potential trade targets for general manager Dave Stewart to consider. One is Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila. He is not known for his offense, but he can be a solid defensive replacement for Montero. Avila led AL catchers in runners caught stealing with 36. 

Another option Stewart has reportedly considered is Toronto Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro. The latter is the more attractive offensive option. Navarro hit .300 with 13 home runs in only 89 games with the Cubs in 2013. Last season, he hit .274 with 12 home runs in Toronto.

Both stat lines were more impressive than Montero‘s past two seasons (.230, 11 HR in 2013 and .243, 13 HR in 2014).

Expect Stewart to explore both options as potential replacements at the catcher position in 2015.


Consider Trading Aaron Hill

Aaron Hill’s power-hitting days are behind him. With only 21 home runs in the last two seasons and several bites from the injury bug, it is time for Arizona to part ways with the veteran second baseman.

Hill is due $24 million over the next two yearseven more reason to cut ties. If the D-Backs can trade Hill, it would open up even more money to pursue quality starting pitching.

Arizona has plenty of young infield talent to replace HillChris Owings, Jake Lamb and Nick Ahmed, to name a few. Veteran Cliff Pennington can also play second base if needed.  

The D-Backs’ offseason plans involved adding a power bat, shedding salary and getting younger. Trading Hill would follow suit, and it also makes sense for the long term.

Competing against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants and the playoff-caliber Los Angeles Dodgers will make contending in the NL West difficult for the D-Backs in 2015.

But with these changes, expect Arizona to have a good chance at finishing over .500 for the first time since 2011.

Adding quality pitching while creating a more flexible payrollthe formula for success in Arizona. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Miguel Montero to Cubs: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

Miguel Montero is on the move.

The Arizona Diamondbacks dealt the two-time All-Star catcher to the Chicago Cubs for two players confirms the team’s Twitter account: 

The trade doesn’t come as much of a surprise. It was no secret Arizona made the 31-year-old available to the highest bidder.

On Dec.  6, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported that the Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers had a preliminary deal in place that would’ve sent Montero to Los Angeles for a package that would’ve included Andre Ethier.

Rosenthal’s sources revealed that Arizona’s owners put the kibosh on the potential trade.

Two days later, Rosenthal and fellow Fox Sports reporter Jon Morosi revealed that the Cubs were potential suitors for Montero:

Rosenthal added that the two teams had been discussing the trade over a weeks-long period:

Few, if any, MLB followers would consider Montero the best catcher in the league, or a top-five catcher for that matter. In September, Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer ranked the 35 top catchers in baseball. Montero came in at seventh.

In his summary of Montero’s ability, Rymer wrote:

Montero’s a better player than the surface stats indicate, which has a lot to do with how the surface stats don’t give him proper credit for his receiving skills. But even outside of that, good health has returned him to being a catcher who can get it done with his bat as well as his glove.

While Montero wasn’t an elite player at his position, he undoubtedly has a lot of value, especially given how hard it can be to find a good catcher.

Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk questioned the move, wondering why the Diamondbacks would be so willing to part with Montero without having any solid replacement in sight:

After a disappointing 2013 season, Montero rebounded well in 2014, hitting 13 home runs and driving in 72 runs. He also had a slash line of .243/.329/.370. While those numbers aren’t close to his peak of 2011 and 2012, they were at least steps in the right direction.

Good catchers are scarce in this year’s free-agent market, and the crown jewel, Russell Martin, already signed a five-year, $82 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

A player of Montero’s caliber wasn’t going to be available through free agency.

Trading for Montero won’t radically alter the Cubs’ fortunes in 2015, but it was a shrewd move that gives Chicago a ready-made MLB catcher in an otherwise thin market.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Miguel Montero Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding Catcher

Miguel Montero of the Arizona Diamondbacks has been traded to the Chicago Cubs for minor league RHPs Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley.

Continue for updates.


Tuesday, Dec. 9

Montero Traded to Cubs for Minor Leaguers 

The Cubs announced Montero has been traded to the Cubs for minor league pitchers Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley:

Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported the sides were closing in on a deal earlier in the day.

Monday, Dec. 8

Diamondbacks Reportedly Trying to Trade Montero

It would appear that Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero could be on the move this offseason.

According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Chicago Cubs are interested in acquiring the catcher:

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports adds:

Perhaps the move is a cost-cutting exercise for the Diamondbacks. They would certainly be trimming their payroll quite a bit if they moved Montero, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Montero hit .243 this past season with 13 home runs and 72 RBI. The 31-year-old has played in two All-Star Games and would certainly be an upgrade for the Cubs at the position.

He’s also been the source of trade rumors already this offseason. Rosenthal reported over the weekend that the Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers discussed trading Montero for Andre Ethier, but owner Ken Kendrick nixed it. However, Arizona’s chief baseball officer, Tony La Russa, denied that ownership blocked any prospective deals, per Drew Silva of Hardball Talk.

One way or another, it would appear that Montero’s days in Arizona are numbered.


Follow TRappaRT on Twitter

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Rumors: Latest Trade and Free-Agent Rumors Around the League

The first month of the MLB offseason is the most crucial because it generally establishes which teams are going to be players and which teams are going to sit most of the winter out.

We’ve now come to roughly the one-month mark, and many teams have already indicated the roles they’ll play in the coming weeks. The rumors have swirled since before the World Series ended, but they’ve now picked up with no more baseball to play. The focus is solely on free agency and the trade market.

There seem to be daily updates on the top names on the market. In order to keep up with some of the more pertinent rumors, read up on some of the latest buzz below.


Miguel Montero

The free-agent catching market is essentially depleted following Toronto’s signing of Russell Martin. That makes players like Miguel Montero very valuable.

That said, Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports that there hasn’t been much traction in talks with the Arizona Diamondbacks backstop: “According to a source, talks regarding Montero have not picked up significantly in the days following the Toronto Blue Jays’ signing of catcher Russell Martin. Among the teams the Diamondbacks have spoken to about Montero are the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox.”

The White Sox are a particularly interesting fit for Montero. The team has been aggressive this offseason, signing Zach Duke and Adam LaRoche already. They’ve also been linked to Pablo Sandoval, per CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. It appears as if they’re done being cellar-dwellers.

Tyler Flowers, the team’s primary catcher in 2014, hit 15 homers in his first go-around as an everyday backstop, but he slashed just .241/.297/.396.

Montero was better at .243/.329/.370, but his first-half numbers are what really kept his yearly marks respectable. He posted an OPS of just .596 after the All-Star break.

Regardless, Montero‘s veteran know-how and history of success at the plate make him a good fit in Chicago.

Arizona must be realistic in what it asks for. He’s still owed $40 million over the next three years and is coming off a miserable half at the plate. The desperation teams have for catching help should drive his interest up, however.


Yasmany Tomas

A handful of teams are interested in Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas. The outfielder has already drawn plenty of serious interest, as Peter Gammons tweeted:

But what has teams going crazy over the next possible Cuban phenom? Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports writes that his power is something special:

And seeing as nothing excites executives more today than a power hitter, they want to believe that Tomas hit a home run during a workout in the Dominican Republic that went so far over a fence it smashed into a ladder on which a fence-painting man stood. Just like they want to believe he really did hammer a home run into a faraway laundry facility at the Philadelphia Phillies’ complex. Or that he really did park a home run over the scoreboard at Estadio Quisqueya, also in the Dominican Republic, or hit another from one team’s facility into another team’s that sits catty-corner, or that he hit a ball 550 feet. That last one is probably not true. Probably.

That kind of power is hard to come by, especially in a game in which right-handed power bats are at a minimum.

The Seattle Mariners seem like a logical landing spot given their strong presence in the left-handed batter’s box. There isn’t much pop from the other side of the plate, though.

Adding Tomas to the lineup would be huge for Seattle. He’s not a guarantee, but we all witnessed how Jose Abreu produced in his rookie campaign. The two players have similar power. That’s making teams excited about the newest Cuban defector.

It goes without saying that a surprise team in the mix for Tomas is the San Diego Padres. Not known for spending big money in free agency, the Friars are perhaps finally looking to add some power to spacious Petco Park. If there’s anybody on the market who can hit it out anywhere in that park, it’s Tomas.

At this point, any number of teams—even ones not listed by Gammons—could emerge and land arguably the top young hitter on the market.


David Robertson

The Houston Astros made great strides in 2014, but the one thing they lacked was some oomph coming out of the bullpen. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that they’re apparently looking into the issue: “The Astros have communicated with [David] Robertson’s agent Scott Leventhal to express their interest in the Yankees’ closer, an industry source said.”

Easily the top closer on the market, David Robertson is seeking a big contract. Brian Cashman, the general manager tasked with deciding if he wants to re-sign his closer from 2014, spoke about whether or not Robertson is deserving of a lucrative deal, per ESPN’s Andrew Marchand:

Clearly, as a free agent, he is going to maximize his value, period, whatever that turns out to be, but I wouldn’t characterize it other than the fact to say he is helluva pitcher that did it in the toughest environment after the greatest player of all-time and he did it with ease. I would suspect that would command top dollar.

Robertson actually pitched to his highest ERA (3.08) since 2010 (3.82) last season, but he did save 39-of-44 and strike out 96 in 64.1 innings. That makes him worth the money.

Houston would make headlines by signing Robertson, as it would represent the first significant signing for the Astros in some time. If nothing else, it would show that the organization thinks it is close to contention and that a few smart signings in key areas could push them into the playoff hunt.

Seeing as the Astros will likely play in many close games given their so-so starting staff and decent offense, having a closer capable of shutting the door is crucial. Robertson is the best available, making him a fit.


Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @kennydejohn

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Arizona Diamondbacks: Aaron Hill Rejuvenated and Ready to Mash Again?

Aaron Hill came over in a mid-season trade last year to help offset the loss of Stephen Drew and provide some veteran leadership. Hill hit .315 for the Diamondbacks but only hit two home runs in 124 at-bats to bring his season total to eight in 520 total at-bats.

2012 didn’t start as planned for Hill. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts against the Giants on Friday night. Game two of the season turned around for Hill as he hit home runs off Madison Bumgarner in both the first and second innings.

It took Hill just eight at-bats to match his home run total from 124 last year. Some might think it’s an aberration, but take a look at Hills’ career stats. It show that he’s been here before.

Hill hit a combined 62 home runs between the 2009 and 2010 seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays. Granted his batting average (.286 and .205) were not something to get too excited about, but if Hill can take direction from Arizona hitting coach Don Baylor and put pieces of those seasons together, he could really make something happen.

This is an even bigger deal with the impending free agency of Stephen Drew. If the Diamondbacks feel comfortable letting him go and allowing Hill to move to SS they could free up enough money to keep fan-favorite Miguel Montero in Phoenix.

Like this article? Show your support by becoming my fan here on Bleacher Report and follow me on Twitter!

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2011 MLB Predictions: Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day Lineup

The Arizona Diamondbacks 2011 Major League Baseball Season couldn’t be any worse than their 2010 season, could it?

The 2010 MLB Season marked the second consecutive year the Arizona Diamondbacks finished with a losing record (65-97) and in last place in the National League (NL) West.

The team’s slow start resulted in manager AJ Hinch and general manager Josh Byrnes losing their jobs midway through the season on July 1st.

Hinch was replaced by the legendary Kirk Gibson while Jerry Dipoto filled in for Byrnes on an interim basis before Kevin Towers was hired in the offseason.

To make matters worse, the 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks set the all-time MLB Team Record for strikeouts by a hitters with 1,529 with Adam LaRoche (172) and Mark Reynolds (211) both leading the charge.

LaRoche was not resigned and Reynolds was traded to the Baltimore Orioles during the offseason.  The Diamondbacks also made various moves for the 2011 MLB Season to improve their bullpen’s league worst 5.47 ERA, including the signing of veteran closer JJ Putz.

After trading tenured veterans and fan favorites, Chad Qualls, Dan Haren and Reynolds, along with hiring Gibson and Towers, the 2011 MLB Season is certainly a new beginning for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Begin Slideshow

MLB Trade Deadline 2010: Top Five Arizona Diamondbacks on the Hot Stove

Welcome to the Arizona Diamondbacks garage sale.

Everything must go.

Seriously, everything.

Currently last place in the National League West and over twenty games under .500, the Diamondbacks need to start rebuilding.

This team just isn’t going to win. Ever.

With the July 31 trade deadline looming, these five players are the most likely to be sent off.

Begin Slideshow

Fantasy Baseball By the Numbers: Week 12

These days fantasy baseball is loaded with crazy stats for everything you could possibly think of, from hits to Linear Weights Run Value . Some of them are completely worthless to most of us, and to be honest, if you have to go to something like Ultimate Zone Rating to decide between two players, you can probably just flip a coin.

But there are obscure stats that are important for fantasy baseball. Fielder Independent Pitching (FIP), Outside Zone Swing Rate (O-Swing%), Batting Average on Balls in Play (BaBIP) and Line Drive Percentage (LD%) are just a few of the endless numbers fantasy experts (and major league organizations) use to judge players. Thus knowing what these stats mean and where to find them can give you a huge leg up on the competition.

The very first thing you should do (after reading the rest of the article of course) is look at Fantasy University , where you can find explanations of everything related to dominating your fantasy league. There is a ton of valuable information there, try not to blow through it in one sitting.

So where do we find these stats? There are two main websites that I use, the first being Baseballreference.com . It’s basically a stat encyclopedia, very straightforward and simple to use. There are also reference sites for the other three major sports, along with college basketball and the Olympics. Great for when you want to know Dennis Rodman’s best single season rebounds per game average (18.7! Per game! Makes Superman look like Robin).

The best part is the game logs, which you can use to find a player’s stat line during any given number of games by clicking on the first and last games of the stretch you want to measure. It’s important when trying to identify trends and players starting to get hot. Use this to identify some guys who could get hot after the All-Star Break.

But this pales in comparison to the unquestioned king of fantasy stat sites: Fangraphs . Everything from Walks to WAR, Holds to Horizontal Pitch Movement, is presented in table or graph form. If you can’t find it on Fangraphs, you don’t need it. Take some time sorting through the site, but watch out because the more you dig, the more you discover you can dig for.

Hopefully that will keep you occupied and avoiding work for the next few weeks. Let’s hit some numbers.

47—Age of Jaime Moyer , who last week became the oldest pitcher to ever beat the Yankees. Amazing. He’s been in the majors longer than I’ve been alive, having played with six different teams over 23 seasons. Since 1996 he has failed to record double digit wins just once, including two 20-win campaigns with the Mariners. Obviously his skills have diminished but the fact that he still has enough in the tank to hold down a spot in a contender’s rotation is extraordinary. Respect your elders.

3—Home runs in the past eight games for Howie Kendrick , who after a slow start has an impressive .519 slugging percentage for the month of June to go with a .304 batting average. He had a good second half last year (33/6/36/.358) and now that he’s safely atop the Angels’ batting order with no competition for second base playing time, it looks like we could have a repeat performance. Those of you having trouble at the 2B spot definitely need to look into this guy.

.145—Jose Bautista’s batting average this month. Well we all saw that coming. Even worse are the two measly homers and five RBIs. I’m sorry but when a career .237 hitter who has never hit more than 20 home runs in a season randomly goes off for 16 in two months we call that an “enjoy it while it lasts” situation, and that situation look about over. Trade him for whatever you can get at this point.

Stop. Hammer Time .

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress