Results tagged ‘ Jack Zduriencik ’
New Mariners catcher Jesus Montero had a conference call this afternoon with the media. Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik was also on the line. You can listen to Zduriencik’s opening comments from the conference call.
Montero was asked about the delay in finalizing the trade, which was complicated by last week’s Seattle snow and ice storms. Montero related a “rough week trying to get to Seattle. But I finally made it and I’m very happy to be here.”
During his time with the Yankees after a September 1 call-up, Montero says he learned a lot from former Mariner and now former Yankees teammate Alex Rodriguez. “He told me to go to the cage. He told me he’d fine me $100 a day if I didn’t go. So I started going to the cage and learning my routine. I learned a lot from A-Rod.”
On hearing that he’d been traded:
“They (the Yankees) called me at my dad’s birthday party and I was in shock because I was always told it wasn’t going to happen. But my family is really happy. This is a new opportunity for my life and my career. I just want to win every day.”
Montero, whose English is quite good, was asked about the difficulty of working with a pitcher who speaks Japanese (Hisashi Iwakuma, signed as a free agent on January 5th). Montero said that he had experience with that last season at AAA when he caught Kei Igawa. He said they had to come up with hand signs to communicate, but with the help of an interpreter, they worked out a system.
Montero said that he doesn’t know fellow countryman Felix Hernandez well, but Felix is, of course, a superstar back home, and he’s looking forward to having the chance to get to know him for “many years to come.”
Asked what the people of Venezuela know about Seattle and the Mariners, Montero responded that the Mariners are popular because of Felix and Franklin Gutierrez. And now with Montero on the team, he commented that the Mariners will be even more well-known back home “because we’re going to win.”
We just got done with the conference call with Jesus Montero and Jack Zduriencik, and we will post some quotes from that shortly here at the blog.
We just got a chance to meet Jesus, and he is a very impressive young man. He is very excited about being a Seattle Mariner and can’t wait to get to Spring Training.
And here is the first photo of Jesus Montero at Safeco Field.
I also had a chance to catch up with Jesus and ask him a few questions:
5 Questions with Jesus Montero:
1. What is your favorite movie? The Terminator
2. Who is your baseball idol? Sammy Sosa
3. What is your favorite kind of music? Salsa
4. How would you like to be known as a player? The complete player who can catch and hit (and with a smile he said for power!)
5. What is your dream car? Lamborghini (he loves the sport of drag racing, but does not participate — too fast he says)
The Mariners officially completed the 4-player trade with the New York Yankees, acquiring C/DH Jesus Montero and RHP Hector Noesi in exchange for RHP Michael Pineda and minor league RHP Jose Campos.
Montero and Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik will be on a conference call at 2:30 p.m. PT today, and we’ll pass along some quotes from that and hopefully get a chance to ask Jesus some questions to share on the blog.
And here is how Jesus will look in a Mariners uniform (use photoshop of course).
MARINERS ACQUIRE JESUS MONTERO, HECTOR NOESI FROM NEW YORK YANKEES
Mariners send RHP Michael Pineda and RHP Jose Campos to New York.
SEATTLE, Wash. — Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jack Zduriencik announced today that the club has acquired catcher Jesus Montero and right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi from the New York Yankees in exchange for right-handed pitcher Michael Pineda and minor league right-handed pitcher Jose Campos.
“With this trade we feel we have acquired a premium offensive talent that has the potential to hit in the middle of our lineup and grow with our other young players,” said Zduriencik. “It is also beneficial that we were able to acquire a Major League- ready pitcher with six years of control and who will compete for a spot in our rotation.
“It was very difficult to part ways with Michael (Pineda) as we are extremely proud of what he has been able to accomplish in our organization. He is a special young man and we wish him the best of luck with the Yankees.
“Through our evaluations, we’ve identified the strength of our organization to be pitching depth, and this helped in our decision to acquire what we consider a premium bat and a potential starting pitcher for the 2012 season and beyond. This trade is also a testament to the job that Bob Engle (Vice President, International Operations) and Tom McNamara (Director of Amateur Scouting) and their staffs have done through scouting and signing of players. ”
Montero, 22, has been ranked by Baseball America as the Yankees top prospect in each of the last three years (2010-12) and the 3rd-best prospect in all of baseball (top catcher) entering the 2011 season. He was also tabbed by the publication as the Yankees “Best Hitter for Average” and “Best Power Hitter”. He was recently selected as the top catching prospect by MLB.com.
Montero made his Major League debut as a September call-up and hit .328 (20×61) with 9 runs, 4 doubles, 4 home runs, 12 RBI with a .406 on-base percentage and a .590 slugging percentage in 18 games. His September performance earned him a spot on the Yankees Division Series playoff roster where he went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI in his only two at-bats against Detroit. Last season in 109 games with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Montero hit .288 (121×420) with 52 runs, 19 doubles, 1 triple, 18 home runs and 67 RBI.
Montero has combined to bat .308 (570×1852) during his rapid rise through the Yankees minor league system. He was selected to play in the 2008 (Yankee Stadium) and 2009 (Busch Stadium) Futures Game. In 2010 he combined to bat .289 (131×453) with 34 doubles, 3 triples, 21 home runs and 75 RBI with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Guacara, Venezuela native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on Oct. 17, 2006.
Noesi, 24 (turns 25 on Jan. 26), split the 2011 season between the Yankees and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 30 games, including two starts with the Yankees, he was 2-2, 4.47 ERA (28 ER, 56.1 IP) with 45 strikeouts. With Scranton/Wilkes-Barre he was 1-1, 3.28 ERA (9 ER, 24.2 IP) with 17 strikeouts in 6 games, 5 starts. He was rated by Baseball America as the Yankees 7th-best prospect heading into the 2011 season as was also tabbed by the publication as having the “Best Control” in their system (he was not eligible to be included in their 2012 rankings due to having pitched more than 50.0 innings in the Major Leagues last season).
Noesi has combined to go 30-18 with a 2.98 ERA (142 ER, 428.1 IP) with 401 strikeouts in 97 games, 74 starts in the Yankees minor league system. In 2010 he combined to go 14-7, 3.20 ERA (57 ER, 160.1 IP) with 153 strikeouts in 28 games, 27 starts between High-A Tampa, AA Trenton and AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre and was selected to the World Team roster for the 2010 All-Star Futures Game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The Esperanza, Dominican Republic native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 3, 2004.
Pineda, 23, spent the entire 2011 season with the Mariners, going 9-10, 3.74 ERA (71 ER, 171.0 IP) with 173 strikeouts in 28 appearances, all starts. In his career in the minors he was 31-14, 2.49 ERA (112 ER, 404.1 IP) with 396 strikeouts. He was originally signed by the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 12, 2005.
Campos, 19, was 5-5, 2.32 ERA (21 ER, 81.1 IP) with 85 strikeouts in 14 appearances, all starts with short-season Everett. In three seasons in the Mariners system, he is a combined 14-10, 3.26 ERA (62 ER, 171.1 IP) with 167 strikeouts in 40 games, including 30 starts. He was originally signed by the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent on Jan. 15, 2009.
With these roster moves, the Mariners 40-man roster is now full at 40.
Believe it or not, Mariners pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Peoria, AZ on Feb. 11, and not that we are counting or anything, but that is just 19 days away!
The Hot Stove League show will be hosted by Rick Rizzs, Shannon Drayer and Matt Pitman. Fans can listen locally in the Puget Sound region on 710 ESPN Seattle and over the Internet on Mariners.com. Guests for the show are scheduled to include:
- Executive Vice President and General Manager Jack Zduriencik
- Catcher Jesus Montero (newly acquired in trade today)
- Pitching Coach Carl Willis
- Relief Pitcher Shawn Kelley
- ESPN.com Writer Jim Caple
- Mariners Marketing Managers Michael Ferguson and Mandy Lincoln (discussing FanFest)
Tonight on Mariners Mondays on ROOT SPORTS highlights of a couple of fun games in August. August 13, the Mariners roughed up the Red Sox Josh Beckett for five runs in the first inning, starting with Ichiro’s 34th career leadoff home run. The August 15 game features include a comeback win over the Blue Jays with two home runs by Mike Carp, including back-to-back homers with Casper Wells in the 8th inning, and pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen’s first Major League win. Mariners Mondays starts at 7:30pm on ROOT SPORTS.