Mariners' Montero out 4-to-6 weeks with knee injury
Catcher, who was sent down to Tacoma, to have knee surgery
Montero was examined by Dr. Edward Khalfayan, the Mariners medical director, on Friday and the tear was diagnosed. Montero, 23, will have surgery some time next week. He is expected to miss approximately four-to-six weeks.
The tear occurred on Wednesday night in Colorado Springs when he went down to block a ball in the dirt. However, the tear is also the product of a lot wear and tear from catching over the years. Montero had been battling knee pain most of the season with the Mariners.
It was the first time Montero had played catcher since being sent down to Class AAA Tacoma on May 23. He'd played in the field at first base.
With Montero out and a 40-man roster move needed to make room for right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, who will start for Seattle today, the Mariners could recall Montero and place him on the 60-day disabled list opening up a 40-man roster spot.
Otherwise, the Mariners will have designate a player on the 40-man roster for assignment and risk losing them to another team via a waiver claim.
Montero played seven games in Tacoma. He was hitting .250 (7-for-28) with three doubles, a triple and two RBI.
He was sent to Tacoma to work on developing a hitting approach as well as learn how to play first base.
Montero struggled as the Mariners starting catcher, losing the full-time job just a few weeks into the season. He hit .208 (21-for-101) with a double, a triple and three home runs and 9 RBI in 29 games with the Mariners this season.
Michael Saunders had his best hitting game in weeks, going 2-for-4 with a double in Saturday's game. One of his two outs was a sharply hit ball to left. Saunders came into the game hitting, just .082 (4-for-49) in his past 14 games. Mariners manager Eric Wedge dropped Saunders out of the leadoff spot a few games ago in hopes of sparking his bat. ... With a left-hander starting for the Twins, Wedge hopes to put Justin Smoak (strained oblique) in the lineup today at either first base or designated hitter. The switch-hitting Smoak has felt no pain in his left side while swinging right-handed. ... Michael Morse (strained quad) is still a few days away from playing.
The Mariners wrap up the road-trip and three-game series today with Bonderman making his first big league start of the season. Bonderman was 2-4 with a 4.52 earned run average in 11 starts with Class AAA Tacoma.
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