This odd 2017 Cubs season continues in Washington D.C. this week as a shocking turn of events occurred with catcher Miguel Montero. After a 6-1 loss to the Nationals yesterday, Montero was unhappy with the way the game went down. He talked about how he was not able to throw runners out due to the pitchers being slow to the plate.
“That’s the reason they were running left and right today because they were slow to the plate, simple as that. It’s a shame it’s my fault because I didn’t throw anyone out.” – Montero to ESPN’s Jesse Rodgers
The Nats stole seven bases, which added to his struggles behind the plate that he suffered all season. According to baseball-reference he is 1-31 (3%) at throwing out runners this year. These comments did not sit well with fans and other teammates. This morning Anthony Rizzo blasted Montero for his comments saying him pointing fingers publicly is selfish, and adding that they “Have a catcher (Contreras) that throws everyone out.” This added a lot of fuel to the fire that ended in Miguel Montero being designated for assignment.
This all escalated pretty quickly, the comments came out last night after the game and he was DFA’ed this morning. Rizzo’s comments came out around two hours before the announcement of Montero’s DFA. This seemed to be the last straw with him considering that Montero did express some frustration with Joe Maddon during the World Series championship celebration. The situation called for this move and it was made swiftly with no discussion. The Cubs want to preach a certain culture and having clubhouse issues is not wanted and it is evident management wanted to keep this mentality.
What is too bad is that Montero was a big contributor for this team in his tenure here. He started the #WeAreGood in 2015 and had two HUGE clutch hits in the postseason last year with the NLCS grand slam in game 1 and the insurance run that ended up being the winning run in game 7. Even though his catching was horrendous this year, he was putting up a .286/.366/.805 slash in 44 games this year. But it is understandable to not want the clubhouse distractions in a season the Cubs are having an inconsistent year. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer even commented on the matter saying the team needs to support each other.
Within all this, the Cubs called up catcher Victor Caratini to replace Montero on the roster. This was a call awaited by many as he was tearing it up in AAA with a .343 average, 8 homers and 54 RBIs and is only 23 years old.