Jesus Montero reported to training camp with the Seattle Mariners a lot rounder around the waistline than he’s been in recent years. When asked about it, the once-promising slugger was quite candid in his response.
“After winter ball, all I did was eat, ” Montero said earlier this week, per The Seattle Times, after he reported to camp 40 pounds over his target weight and is noticeably heavier than his listed weight of 230. “I feel comfortable with my weight,” he said. “But they want me to lose some weight. Whatever they want. I’m here for the opportunity.”
Mariners general manager Jack Zduruencik sounded a little more than fed up with Montero’s lack of conditioning.
“We are disappointed in how he came in physically,” Zduriencik said bluntly.
“It’s up to him,” Zduriencik said. ” I have zero expectations for Jesus Montero. Any expectations I had are gone.”
Those are words of encouragement for a player whom much was expected of as a young prospect. Montero was at one time a prized member of the Yankees farm system before a trade to Seattle and a 50-game suspension in 2013 derailed his career.
“I can’t want it for him,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “At some point, the light has to come on for all of us. When I talked with him, I told him he’s at a crossroads. It’s time to put up or shut up.”
You can’t teach motivation. If Montero doesn’t shape up soon — pun intended — he may find himself out of the majors and looking for a new career. No meal is worth throwing away a big league salary over.
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