MLB Team Report - Seattle Mariners - INSIDE PITCH


SEATTLE -- The career of once-promising prospect Jesus Montero has sunk to new depths, which seemed impossible considering how far he has fallen during his three seasons in the Mariners organization.

Acquired in a 2012 trade for rookie pitcher Michael Pineda, Montero was a top prospect in the Yankees organization when he arrived in Seattle with a world of expectations. The Mariners were hoping to anoint him their catcher of the present and future, but Montero struggled so badly that he was sent to Triple-A early in his second season with the team and moved to first base.

Things somehow got worse from there, as injuries and a 50-game suspension for being involved in the Biogenesis scandal put him off the Mariners' radar. He then showed up for 2014 spring training out of shape, prompting general manager Jack Zduriencik to tell reporters that the former prospect was no longer a part of the team's rebuilding project.

Dispatched to Triple-A for most of the 2014 season, Montero hit a new low Thursday night when he was involved in an altercation with a Mariners scout at a Class A game in Boise. Montero, who was on rehab assignment with the Everett AquaSox but was not in the lineup, apparently went into the crowd with a bat after scout Butch Baccala sent an ice cream sandwich into the dugout. The incident was broken up before it got really ugly, but both Montero and Baccala have effectively been put on unofficial suspension.

General manager Jack Zduriencik told reporters before Friday's Mariners-Nationals game that Montero won't play another inning in the organization this season.

"There's always two sides to a story," Zduriencik told reporters. "But it really doesn't matter. This incident is of the magnitude that either party should have been more under control. Either party should have been more professional.

Montero, 24, was hitting .286 with 16 home runs and 74 RBIs for the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate this season, but he hit .208 with the Mariners last season.

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MLB Team Report - Seattle Mariners - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 72-61

STREAK: Lost two

NEXT: Nationals (RHP Stephen Strasburg, 10-10, 3.59 ERA) at Mariners (LHP Roenis Elias, 9-11, 4.01 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Erasmo Ramirez was sent back to Triple-A Tacoma after Wednesday's loss to Texas. He gave up 10 earned runs off nine hits over three innings in a 12-4 loss to the Rangers.

--OF James Jones was recalled Friday, adding another outfielder and pinch runner three days before the roster expansion. Jones was slated to be recalled Monday, but the demotion of RHP Erasmo Ramirez after a disastrous start Wednesday night cleared a roster spot for Jones to join the club early.

--1B Jesus Montero, once a top prospect in the organization, continues to make news for all the wrong reasons. Montero, who was assigned to Triple-A but had been scheduled to make a rehab assignment with Class A Everett, got into what Seattle called "a verbal incident" with a Mariners scout during Tuesday night's Class A game in Boise. Montero was sent to Seattle, putting his rehab assignment on hold and effectively ending his season. As Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told reporters before Friday's Mariners-Nationals game: "He is not going to participate in anymore baseball the rest of the year with us."

--RHP Chris Young's next start has been moved back two days, from Saturday to Monday. Young is now scheduled to pitch at Oakland, while LHP Roenis Elias will take his spot as Saturday's starter. No reason was given for the rotation change.

--RHP Felix Hernandez had never faced the Washington Nationals before Friday night, and it seems pretty unlikely that he's in a hurry to go against them again anytime soon. The Nationals tagged Hernandez for four home runs -- the most he has ever given up in any of his 297 career starts. Hernandez allowed a season-high five earned runs off 10 hits over seven innings. "I got crushed," he said afterward. Hernandez hasn't put up the same numbers since a Detroit game earlier this month that saw him abruptly stop his motion during one pitch and appear to be in discomfort afterward. But Hernandez and acting manager Trent Jewett both said that he is healthy.