Montero’s early-June benching due to lack of “energy”


Jesus Montero‘s two game hiatus earlier this month came because the organization felt his play lacked “energy,” says Andrew Marchand. “It is all in becoming a first-rate professional and he is still in the middle of that process,” said Mark Newman, who basically runs the farm system. Triple-A Scranton hitting coach Butch Wynegar added that he thinks Montero “is almost bored here in Triple-A.” My opinion is well known: get the kid the big leagues, like yesterday. Forcing someone to change their behavior almost never works, and there’s a very simple solution here. Just do it.

Categories : Asides, Minors


  1. Steve H says:

    I’d demote him to Trenton.

    • Good thing you’re not in charge.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        This. This is why we’re fans.

      • Steve H says:

        Definitely a good thing I’m not in charge. But when a child is being a petulant little brat, I don’t think you give in to them and, in this case, promote him to the majors.

        • Guest says:

          But he’s not a child. He’s a baseball player. A really good hitter and a bad defensive catcher.

          I think, after the year he had last year, has every right to feel frustrated to still be in AAA.

          Doesn’t mean that he’s not ready to live up to the potenial in the Majors. And that should be the Yanks main concern.

          • Steve H says:

            I think, after the year he had last year, has every right to feel frustrated to still be in AAA.

            So instead of busting his ass to equal or improve on last year he’s being a pissant? Great.

            • Guest says:

              I agree if he’s not trying to hit. Thats a problem for him. But as long as he’s trying to hit and field, I don’t really care if there is a lack of energy in his baserunning, demeanor, or “attitude.”

              Look, the Yankees can either try and force him to be something he’s not (rah-rah hustle guy) somewhere he doesn’t want to be (the minors) or see if he can live up to his potential in teh majors.

              Everything I’ve read said he works hard at hitting and he works hard at defense. Girardi said that, minor league coaches said that, Jorge said that.

              He’s slow. I don’t need him to bust it on routine groundballs. Would it be better if he did that? Of course. But if he doesn’t and mashes at the plate without being a trave-sha-mockery behind it, I’m good.

              • Steve H says:

                If he’s trying his best to hit, I hope there is another explanation for his drastic regression from last year’s numbers, in the same league, at a younger age.

                • Guest says:

                  If I’m not mistake, didn’t he get off to a rough (for him) start last year in AAA?

                  Maybe he’s developing in a Tex-like slow starter. Or maybe this is just a bit of a prolonged slump.

                  If the Yankees do decide to keep him in the minors the whole year, I would imagine that his full season numbers are more likely to approximate his numbers from last year than they are not.

                  • S says:

                    or maybe taking foul tips to the nuts earlier in the season and eye irritation that developed into an infection that cost him a week (there is a good chance that his eye was bothering him well before him being given that week off which is why I say “eye irritation”) contributed to his “slow start”

        • Kevin D. says:

          I doubt the Yankees would tolerate their top prospect acting like a little brat. Just because he has lacked the motivation/energy in his play lately does not mean he is being a brat. Everyone goes through these kind of bumps. It is not like he is refusing to catch in the bullpen.

  2. Guest says:

    This is turning into farce. They kept him out of a game because his play “lacked energy”? What does that even mean? And for heaven’s sake he is a power hitting catcher. I don’t expect to see him hitting hustle triples or diving into stands. Mash the ball and don’t throw it into centerfield. He doesn’t need much “energy” to do that.

    What’s next, are they going to put him into timeout for insufficient fist pumping?

    • Steve H says:

      Come on, they spend more than enough time around these guys to know what’s up. I highly doubt it was not hustling for a triple.

      • Guest says:

        Steve H, I completely agree that I don’t know 1/1000th of what the organization knows.

        If he is engaging in cancer-like or behavior or “not trying” at the things that he should be trying at (hitting the ball hard), then they are right to keep him down there.

        But based on publicly available information, it seems like they are mad that he isn’t excited to be in AAA. It seems like they are punishing him for not being Francisco Cervelli.

        He’s not Francisco Cervelli. He’s a big time prospect who has dominated every level in the minors (I know he’s not off to a great start this year but he crushed AAA last season). I really don’t give an *expletive* whether he is waving towels on the bench in the seventh inning of a game in west Podunk. That’s not who he is or who we need him to be in Bronx.

        Jesus has the potential to be a special hitter. He has proven that in the minors, lets see if he can live up to it in the majors.

    • Ed says:

      Only problem with that idea is he’s not mashing.

      Montero’s AAA line this season is basically Gardner’s MLB line but without the triples.

  3. guy says:

    Learn to read in between the lines folks. There’s a behavioral problem here — ONE that probably won’t serve him well in the bigs.

  4. Chip says:

    I completely agree. I think superstars almost need a large amount of ego in order to succeed. They have to know that they’re the best in the world and I would imagine Jesus is sitting down there going, what else do I have to do guys?

  5. Guest says:

    Also, this article is the first place where I saw the full Wynegar quote:

    “I just get the feeling that Monte is so blessed physically — and I hate to say it — he is almost bored here in Triple-A,” said Scranton hitting coach Butch Wynegar, a former Yankees catcher. “Maybe if he went to the big leagues tomorrow, this kid might just go off and he just might lock in.”

    I think there might be something to that last sentence.

    • Changes the flavor of the oft-cited quote quite a bit, doesn’t it?

    • crawdaddie says:

      No, you want it to be something to that last sentance.

      • Guest says:

        Totally agree that I want there to be something to that last sentence. But just because I want there to be something there doesn’t mean that there isn’t actually something.

        Wynegar clearly does, or else he wouldn’t have said it.

        • crawdaddie says:

          Clearly, there are those in the organization that disagree with Wyneger so who really knows who’s right here. I don’t from my vantage point.

          • The BIG 3 says:

            Seems to me that this ‘Montero is bored, that’s why he’s doing poorly’ meme has been around long enough that even a lowly AAA field manager would have picked up on it.

            Wynegar’s statement means nothing to me.

            • The Fallen Phoenix says:

              On the other hand, we’ve seen this before – guys who coast through the minors on their talent until they’re finally challenged in the big leagues.

              Hanley Ramirez comes to mind.

              • The BIG 3 says:

                .720 OPS @ AAA to .833 OPS @ FLA. Yeah, I’d say that’s a damn fine example for the “bored” case.

              • MidlandTX says:

                Ah, Hanley, he of the perpetual bad attitude.


                Maybe that crap is acceptable on a last-place ballclub but there’s no place for it in the Bronx. If he had been mashing like he’s supposedly capable of mashing, he’d probably already be in the Bronx.

                Instead of sulking or dogging it, he’d be better served putting up numbers good enough to justify benching an aging team legend and borderline HOFer.

    • CS Yankee says:

      Wynegar was a solid backstop that never lived up to his billing. It seems from his full quote that either he a) really believes that he is so close to being in the bigs but lacks a little perservarance or b) he is keeping things PC as not to compromise his return in a trade.

      They need the good vet in Martin (who also had lack-of-hustle rep at times with the McDodgers) and as long as they choose one of the two and cut ties with Gazoo, we will be better off.

      Seems to me like they would be fine in 2012 with either a) Martin & Montero as the tandum or b) Martin & Romine. I’d feel good about either choice.

      • The BIG 3 says:

        “he is keeping things PC as not to compromise his return in a trade”

        Or that. Although I very much doubt that rumors of Montero’s departure are so widespread that Wynagar has been briefed about them.

        • CS Yankee says:

          He doesn’t have in “in” on the possible trade, just educated that whatever issue with any prospect there is, that he needs to spin the end thoughts positive to maintain value and not compromise their development.

  6. pat says:

    I want him up here as much as the next guy, but not if he’s acting lazy and entitled. They don’t want him to think he can just turn it on and turn it off whenever he pleases.

  7. AndrewYF says:

    At the very least we know that he won’t be called up so long as the Yankees are playing interleague games.

  8. Bryan L says:

    Just get him to the Bronx and let him start the apocalypse with his bat.

  9. Jericho Spade says:

    I think that if Posada didnt pick it up he would have been up 100%, catching 2x a week and DHing the rest. Despite what Mike wrote before, I believe the organization is right to keep him down. He needs to play all the time, end of story… and not just for his defense, he first has to acclimate to hitting MLB pitchers.

    It is unfortunate that this is the case, but there is most likely nothing that can be done until Posada is on the DL, or goes into a slump again or September call up. RIght now he has no position.

  10. Stevis says:

    Wait a minute!!!!!
    Cervelli plays with a ton of energy and the guy is a AA catcher!
    Bring up Jesus…NOW!!!

  11. Jorge says:

    I appreciate what Russell Martin did for the team during the early part of the seasn, but Montero has the potential to be a truly special player. Martin should not be blocking him in any way, shape, or form.

    I agree that “bored” =/= brat.

    • CS Yankee says:


      Martin is great with the staff, has saved big innings with key throw-downs, blocks the plate real well (and correctly) and helps the local nail salons (Jorge always did his own).

      Don’t hate on a very solid catcher in Martin, there is much more to catching than catching.

      • Jorge says:

        Opinion, actually. Not “wrong.”

        I specifically said I appreciated Martin’s contributions. I didn’t send a telegram to his house or anything, but I’m certainly not hating on him. You, I, and Russell Martin can rest easy there.

    • first time lawng time says:

      I really want Jesus up, but I think Martin would be a bit more valuable at this point. The Yankees need a defensive catcher and Montero apparently doesn’t provide that. He’s a talented hitter, but we don’t know how he’ll perform in the majors.

      I want Montero up a soon as possible, but I’m not quite sure if he should be the starting catcher.

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      Terrible post.

  12. steve (different one) says:

    Man, I usually agree with most of the stuff on this site, but the take on this is just bizarre. Montero is behaving immaturely and unprofessionally, and the consensus is to reward him for that? He’s having a fairly mediocre season and the excuse is that he’s bored and we should all blame the org for that? Wierd.

    I would think we should expect a player in his shoes to FORCE the org to call him up by playing great for a long stretch. Not to say “I’ve already done enough to earn it, so why not sulk and half ass it?”

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this spells some sort of long-term flaw in Montero, he’s still very young and will mature. But I certainly don’t agree that the organization should reward this behavior.

    • kenthadley says:

      very true

    • CS Yankee says:


      If he is so bored in AAA why don’t he set the all-time dinger record for the minors, replace Kei as all-time SWB game winner and Albie as all-time save leader.

      Every kid gets bored, every girl, every man…he is 21 and has not mastered his craft.

      The bread is still baking.

    • Steve H says:

      Very well said.

    • first time lawng time says:

      But he’s frustrated! That’s where the behavior is coming from: frustration. He’s been performing well and he feels he should be in the big leagues (as he should).

      Also, keep in min the quality of life in AAA is not that great, especially compared to the life he could he having if he were in the majors.

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      Jeter and Posada were rewarded for acting like babies. It’s just how the Yankees roll.

      • steve (different one) says:

        Seriously? So 15 year vets with HOF credentials and thousands of games of goodwill should be treated the same as a 21 year old having a mediocre season in AAA?

        I’m as big a Montero fanboy as anyone, but this is crazy.

  13. Andrew Brotherton says:

    We really haven’t seen the major call-ups yet, except for the Exodus from Charleston of everyone relevant on that team to Tampa. I believe he will be called up in the next few months for the stretch run. It isn’t even the All-star game yet. Let him get some cuts, see where we are in the standings, see how we are with injuries and lineup issues and let him loose.

  14. breich315 says:

    Here’s my 2 cents on the whole situation.

    Montero had a great year in AAA. Cervelli got hurt and he saw an opportunity to join the big club. He pressed and did not perform well enough to force the Yankees hand so to AAA he went.

    This fact led to Montero “being bored”. He thinks he’s too good for the level and his mind is wandering. He wants to do well. He is trying to do well to impress but his mind is still in the Bronx which affects his performance. When they say he lacks energy this is what they mean. It’s not a lack of effort as much as it is a lack of focus on all the little details it takes to be successful at the MLB level. Now, the big league club does not want to reward that with a promotion. It may promote bad behavior and it won’t help him overcome the struggles he will face at some point at the MLB level. I think that they want to see him overcome this little funk he is in so that he learns. It’s the last stage in this guy’s development. The bat is there. The glove is good enough. Just needs to learn how to deal with some adversity. They want him to be successful with that first at the AAA level so that he can handle adversity at the MLB level when he experiences it.

    Again, just my 2 cents trying to piece together all the quotes and info out there.

    Lastly, Montero will be read/hear about these quotes. It may get him to up his focus and go on a tear to get the promotion he wants/deserves. I think the Yankees coaches/front office people are purposefully leaking this info so that he gets the message.

  15. Guest says:

    One good thing about Jesus:

    He is sure is good for page views on off days…

  16. infernoscurse says:

    hanley ramirez pt 2

    • I love how a 27 year old shortstop who hit .313/.385/.521 (136+) in his first five seasons and then hit .211/.304/.301 (68+) in 40% of his sixth season is now somehow a horrible bum and a cautionary tale.

      Obviously, the first 3370 plate appearances were somehow a mirage and the 238 from this season is the real Hanley Ramirez, Cancerous Uber-bust.

  17. Abe Frohmam says:

    Montero is the

  18. John Kruk's belly says:

    Is Jesus a good fist pumper? That’s the way to Girardi’s heart and hence a roster spot.

  19. MikeD says:

    Reward someone with an attitude problem? I mean, that’s what we’re hearing here. The fact that we’re hearing this much means his issues run deeper.

    Trade him.

    • Yeah trade him when his value is low. Good idea.

      • MikeD says:

        If you don’t like what’s being offered, then keep him. He’s 21. Plenty of road.

        I was half-joking, driven by the frenzy around Montero on RAB. If the Yankees think he has things to work on who am I to say he doesn’t? I am concerned that the Yankees are freely revealing this information, which means they’re not really looking to trade him, since that will depress his value.

        Yet what we’re hearing might be the tip of the iceberg. When I hear words coming from the Yankees such as “immature” and “has a lot to learn,” then there is a problem. I don’t believe in rewarding problems just because he’s been rated highly, or because we’ve been hearing about him for years on RAB.

        It’s just possible, just slightly possible they know something we don’t. Yeah, it’s possible.

  20. Jim in Bingo says:

    This has become a farce. Cervelli is a joke. I’m sick of seeing him throw the ball into centerfield, sick of his weak ground outs, and, most of all, sick of seeing him cheerlead like he’s the captain of the damn team. The guy sucks. No wonder Montero is pissed off.

    The solution is to send his ass down. The Bronx gets a catcher who can actually hit the ball out of the infield, and Wynegar gets his rah-rah d-bag.

    The problem with this organization is too many former crappy catchers coaching. Wynegar and Joey G identify with the Cervellis of the world, not the Monteros.

    • CS Yankee says:

      How would you feel about Romine trading places with Cerv’ and putting things perhaps in order? This would reward everyone…Cerv’ for who he is, a AA catcher, Romine for improving big time with his stick, and also reward Montero with “no soup for you (yet)”.

      Romine was/is praised about his game but lacks the power of Montero, but if he is better with the staff (i don’t know). NYY already leads in dingers, needing a tighter D and a catcher plays big in that arena.

      • Jim in Bingo says:

        That would be a disaster. First, it’s not clear that Romine is that much better a defensive catcher than Montero. He’s gotten low marks as I recall from “scouts” too.

        But second and more importantly, it’s terrible man-management skills. Montero would rightly see it as him being punished, skipped in the depth chart. If you think he’s disinterested now, wait until then.

        This has all the hallmarks of bad personnel management, and not just in the baseball sense, but in the business-management sense.

        It’s absolute mickey-mouse bullshit. If they’re not careful, they’ll lose this kid completely and have to trade him for much less than he’s worth.

        Mike is dead on re the every-day job comparison.

        • MikeD says:

          There’s a difference between low marks (Romine) and he can’t catch (Montero).

          If Monetero thinks he’s above it all and he’s bored, yes it does something about him. Not saying it’s going to derail his career, but it’s not a good thing. Think about it. Here’s a young player who is right on the cusp of being called up, and yet he seems to be doing whatever he can to piss off his coaches. Sorry, that is not a good sign, no matter what others think.

          • YankeesJunkie says:

            So your solution involves

            1. Dropping Cervelli to AA (fine by me)
            2. Bringing up Romine which would be terrible because

            • YankeesJunkie says:

              Reply fail

              they would be rushing him and may destroy his development.

              Sooner rather than later Montero is going to have to replace Cervelli because Cervelli is a detriment to the team on the field.

          • The BIG 3 says:

            What you said here: “Yet what we’re hearing might be the tip of the iceberg. When I hear words coming from the Yankees such as “immature” and “has a lot to learn,” then there is a problem” extends to here: “That would be a disaster. First, it’s not clear that Romine is that much better a defensive catcher than Montero. He’s gotten low marks as I recall from “scouts” too.”

            I’ve read the same things that Jim obviously did. And when scouts, en mass, are questioning a young players defensive ability, I always think there’s way more to it than just that; that he can’t defend, period.

  21. Kevin D. says:

    They guy is frustrated. It amazes me that this somehow makes him to be a clubhouse cancer before he has even set foot in the big leagues. Everyone goes through some sort of frustration in their lives and like it or not it has a way of affecting you. People are overreacting to this.

  22. Rainbow Connection says:

    I would much rather see Jesus apply his energy towards learning to be a better catcher than acting like a douche.
    Then again, if Jeter and Posada are his role models maybe it’s hopeless.

  23. Gonzo says:

    I was once 21 year old, and not a very good one at that, so I generally overlook youthful transgressions if not life threatening.

    The one thing that troubles me is that he really isn’t killing the ball. I am not sure where I stand on the subject, but I might wait until he gets hot before saying he is “ready.”

  24. The BIG 3 says:

    April 29, 2010:
    “It would be interesting to see what the FO would do if Cervelli began producing elite production behind the plate (750-800 OPS.)”


    I know it’s mean, but I get a kick out of revisiting those older posts on players who stood out for a month or so before falling back to earth (as all young kids will do). Streaks don’t last forever but the blood thirsty posters, if dissatisfied with yesterday’s results, sure do. And bear in mind, this can be said about every single Yankee prospect brought up during the past decade.

    I don’t know why any of you want Montero up. All you’re going to do is shit on him in a matter of weeks, anyway.

    • MikeD says:

      Oh, totally. Once he starts letting passed balls fly by, or the pitchers don’t want him catching, or he throws the ball away, or he doesn’t hit like Frank Thomas. Right now he’s the empty glass that everyone can fill up with their favorite drink. Reality is much tougher.

  25. infernoscurse says:

    so jesus is acting like the infant and not the savior

  26. Roger says:

    Should have traded this little beatch to Seattle when Cliff was available. Could have had a repeat and a better chance of signing Lee since he would have already had some Yankee experience and found out that Arod is not a grandpa yet like he thinks.
    Moot point, but yea, this sucks. Unmotivated players are not a great barganing chip.
    They should send Robby to talk to the kid and tell him how hard it is to remove the slacker lable in baseball especially when you play in NY.
    And since when is it cool to slack because you think you have done all that there is to be done at AAA? Why so much support for his actions?
    He is 21, stfu and play, kid!

  27. Yazman says:

    Agree with both sentiments…

    -Montero: be a man and play with gusto, no matter where you are!
    -Yankees: get the kid up here ASAP!

    Catch 2x/week, DH 2x/week.

    for Montero: 4 MLB games/week > 6 AAA games/week
    for NYY: Montero > Cerveli + Posada

  28. Claudell says:

    “They’re not letting me wear pinstripes. Waaaaa!”

  29. Rainbow Connection says:

    Axisa doing a great carnie routine in order to up the site traffic on an off day.

  30. stupiod guy thoughts says:

    my life sucks and i suck it up! why cant montero?

  31. IB6 UB9 says:

    This is just like when Anakin thought he was ready to become a Jedi Master but Yoda, Obi-Wan and the Jedi Council held him back.

    The Yankees are the Evil Empire, so we know how this will end.

  32. Favrest says:

    This isn’t helping his trade value.

  33. David, Jr. says:

    He is going to be traded. Watch and see.

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