Jesus Montero has been a bust for the Mariners since they acquired him as a top prospect from the Yankees for Michael Pineda, but he’s hit reasonably well at Triple-A this season and now he’s on his way back to the majors.
Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners are expected to call up Montero to provide reinforcements to a lineup that just lost Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders to the disabled list and was already without Corey Hart.
Here’s the thing, though: Montero hitting .270 with eight homers and an .800 OPS in 59 games at Triple-A looks pretty solid on the surface, but in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League an .800 OPS is nothing special. In fact, the PCL as a whole has a .765 OPS this season. He might help, but that probably says more about the Mariners’ other options than about Montero at this point.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: