ESPN insider: Catcher Miguel Montero will be D-backs’ ‘linchpin’ in 2014

Jan 20, 2014, 8:23 PM | Updated: 8:24 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers might have pulled the trigger on a three-team trade that netted the team power-hitting outfielder Mark Trumbo back in Dec. 2013, but according to one baseball analyst, the team will need another big bat to step up if it plans on finding its way into postseason play.

In an ESPN insider piece this weekend, Buster Olney released his ’30 Linchpin Players of 2014′ — a list of the one player for “each of the 30 teams whose performance will be most pivotal.”

When it came to the D-backs, Olney believes the onus will be on catcher Miguel Montero to have a big year.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Miguel Montero. They greatly value him, and they’re paying him to be a key part of their lineup. When he didn’t hit last season, it really, really hurt; he must be an effective complement to Paul Goldschmidt.

Montero, who signed a new five-year, $60-million deal back in May 2012, struggled mightily last season, batting just .230 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI — his lowest offensive outputs since 2010.

To make matters worse, Montero directed a starting pitching staff that finished No. 19 in ERA (4.13), No. 19 in WHIP (1.32), No. 22 in opponents’ BAA (.264) No. 25 in wins (46).

In addition to his struggles on the field, the seven-year veteran missed a majority of August due to a lower back strain.

Montero also underwent surgery to clean up an infection in his left index finger back in October but is expected to be at full strength in 2014. He along with Trumbo will be asked to serve as some additional lineup protection for Paul Goldschmidt (.302 batting average, 36 home runs and 125 RBI), who finished second in the MVP voting despite the catcher’s woeful campaign in 2013.


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Diamondbacks

Brandon Pfaadt...

Alex Weiner

D-backs’ Brandon Pfaadt and Corbin Carroll deliver vs. White Sox, magic number drops to 3

Rookies Brandon Pfaadt and Corbin Carroll led the D-backs to a victory over the White Sox on Wednesday, dropping Arizona's magic number.

15 hours ago

Longtime Arizona Diamondbacks radio announcer Greg Schulte smiles...

Arizona Sports

Touch ‘Em All: Special show to honor Diamondbacks play-by-play voice Greg Schulte

Arizona Sports will hold a special show Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. to honor Diamondbacks play-by-play announcer Greg Schulte.

18 hours ago

Zach Davies, Arizona Diamondbacks...

Arizona Sports

Diamondbacks designate Zach Davies for assignment, recall Justin Martinez

Veteran pitcher Zach Davies was designated for assignment Wednesday for the Arizona Diamondbacks with five games left in the season.

19 hours ago

Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker...

Arizona Sports

Christian Walker shows staying power as D-backs push for 2023 playoffs

Christian Walker became the 10th Arizona Diamondbacks player to surpass 100 RBIs in a single season in a key win over the Chicago White Sox.

20 hours ago

Ketel Marte...

Arizona Sports

NL Wild Card standings: Diamondbacks fight for postseason berth

The Arizona Diamondbacks are in a playoff hunt for the first time in years. After a cold July and early August, they are back in the race.

1 day ago

Ketel Marte...

Alex Weiner

D-backs score 14 unanswered runs to beat White Sox, pick up game on Cubs

The Arizona Diamondbacks beat the White Sox, and the Cubs lost to the Braves with the NL Wild Card chase plowing toward the finish line.

1 day ago

ESPN insider: Catcher Miguel Montero will be D-backs’ ‘linchpin’ in 2014