It is July, 85 games through a 162 game season. The Mariners, our Mariners have called up Jesus Montero from Tacoma. Everyone knows the M’s don’t hit much, don’t run well and….well they just don’t score enough runs to win often. And that is NOT a recent development. So with the M’s in year six or seven of a nine or ten year run of low scoring, not hitting struggle we think they would try anything, right?
Like hit Lomo at leadoff? Tried that. Like try to steal bases? Tried that. IF you call getting caught stealing 26 out of 35 attempts trying. They tried waiting out Ackley, Zunino, Chris Taylor, Austin Jackson, Ruggiano. Hoping for some production. Mariners prayers were answered with silence, nothing.
After almost a half season Franklin Gutierrez is called up. Desperation move? Only if the team was NOT out of first place. AND NOT fi the guy (Franklin) is hitting over .300 and is probably as good an outfielder as any on the Mariners roster. Whether he really contributes a lot doesn’t matter. Hit .265 and you are an offensive monster on this team.
Another few weeks go by and the M’s decision makers finally thought maybe the big club could use a little more help. So scanning the Rainiers roster they spot this guy we have all been watching all year. This guy named Jesus Montero. This guy with all that history, most of it bad. That guy everyone said we would NEVER see again at Safeco, not with the M’s. The guy who played 135 games for the M’s in 2012, smacking 20 doubles, 15 homers while batting .260. This season at AAA Tacoma? Montero hit .332 while leading the PCL with 113 hits, runs scored ((57), total bases and RBI (68). His .899 OPS powered 12 doubles, FIVE triples and 15 home runs. Pretty cool , huh? WAITAMINUTE! He batted .369 with RISP. That is runners in scoring position, .369! Not sure how good that is? Well, it is better than the current Mariners team mark of .215.
I really hope both Gutierrez and Montero make a difference . I hope they both produce. I doubt they will turn this floundering offense around in any immediate way. But they both can minimize the shoulder shrugs and continual line up sheet with three sub .200 hitters starting. And for one guy, Jesus Montero, this will surely be the second coming.