Found February 25, 2012 on
There were a couple of key defensive plays that went largely unnoticed by casual observers of yesterday's game, but which did resonate with some members of the front office.
How do I know this? I was standing right in front of them shooting photos.
Anyhow, one came on the photo you see above, where catcher Jesus Montero slides to his let to block a pitch in the dirt from James Paxton. There were runners on second and third with one out at the time and the block saved a run from scoring. Moments later, Paxton struck out Casper Wells, then escaped the inning after that.
"I thought he did a good job back there,'' Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Montero afterwards. "I thought he did a good job of moving around, blocking the ball...and he was catching those young kids with good stuff. Those are live arms and the ball's getting on him really quick. So, I was really impressed with what we saw out of him.''
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Franklin Gutierrez, seen in the photo above taking BP earlier this morning, will be starting in center and batting leadoff for Team 2 today in his first spring training intra-squad action. Jesus Montero will be batting cleanup for Team 2 and catching.
For frequent updates, stay tuned right here and to my Twitter feed @gbakermariners.
(Eds: Adds details, quotes. With AP Photos.) At first glance, it's easy to see the potential in Jesus Montero.
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