New Blue Jays catcher Miguel Montero likely has learned his lesson when it comes to taking on a former Cy Young Award-winning pitcher.
Montero unexpectedly was subjected to a different type of exit velocity when the Cubs essentially jettisoned him last Wednesday, the day after he blamed pitcher Jake Arrieta for the Nationals’ seven stolen bases. “They were running left and right today because they [Arrieta] were slow to the plate,’’ he was quoted. Montero was 1-for-32 throwing out runners with the Cubs.
Montero, hitting .286 with four homers, quickly apologized to Arrieta but was designated for assignment by the Cubs the following day. Cubs president Theo Epstein minced no words, saying, “This was an example of being a bad teammate publicly and that we’d be better off moving on . . . ’’
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The Cubs will receive a player to be named or cash considerations from the Blue Jays.
Montero sought to rear view all of that Tuesday before the Blue Jays beat the Yankees, 4-1.
“I just want to end up in a place where I can help my team to win and I guess I’m in the right place right now,’’ said Montero, who did not play Tuesday. “I feel great mentally, physically, I’m excited to be part of the team and look forward to helping, someway somehow.’’
Montero, 33, said his separation from the Cubs “wasn’t the perfect departure but it’s what it was. I live [in] the moment and I just really don’t look back at the past right now. It happened already, it’s over . . . Time to forget.’’
Montero said he left Chi cago with no ill will toward Arrieta. “We’re good,’’ he said, “We’re good friends and we still are.’’
Montero also had past issues with Cubs manager Joe Maddon, but said, “we solved it out this spring training and the whole year he was great to me and we were getting along well.’’
Montero is expected to play behind Russell Martin. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, a former catcher, said that during his playing days, he never publicly aired any problems he had with his pitchers on stolen bases, but added that catchers usually are held responsible. “I think that’s the public perception,’’ he said, “and they take the heat for it, no doubt.
“I liked everything I heard,’’ Gibbons said when he met Montero. “I’d rather not get into with what goes on with other teams, but I will tell you I’ve heard nothing but good things.’’