Jesus Montero was a can't-miss catching prospect who appears to be missing, badly, and an incident last night during a minor league rehab appearance in which he tried to fight a scout who had been heckling him is probably not going to speed his trip back to the majors. It's a pretty incredible story, though.
Montero, who showed up to spring training 40 pounds overweight, started the season in the minors, and has played just six games for Seattle all year. As part of his rehab for a strained oblique muscle, the 24-year-old Montero has been assigned to the low-A Everett AquaSox, though not yet put on the roster—he was coaching first base during last night's game against the the Boise Hawks when he started hearing it from a Mariners "cross-checker," or senior scout.
MiLB.com writer Tyler Maun explains how it went down:
Montero was coaching first base, and at the end of an inning, the unidentified cross-checker yelled at him to hustle off the field ["Rapido! Rapido!"], according to Boise official scorer Liza Safford. Montero then headed to the AquaSox dugout on the third-base side.
According to a game offical, the cross-checker then ordered an ice cream sandwich and had it sent to Montero in the dugout, escalating the confrontation further. The official said Montero — who arrived at Mariners Spring Training 40 pounds overweight this season — approached the stands with a bat while screaming profanities and threw the sandwich at the cross-checker. Montero had to be pulled back from the stands by Everett pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera, Safford said.
Montero was not ejected, perhaps because everyone was in shock over the fact that a Mariners scout was taunting a Mariners player for being fat and lazy. Seriously—Montero acted poorly, should have avoided confrontation, and should never have wielded a bat like that, but what in the world was that scout thinking? If things went down as reported here, that scout will be out of a job pretty soon.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told the Seattle Times via text:
"I am aware of the incident in Boise. We are currently in the process of gathering information, but until I have all the details, I cannot comment."