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Pitchers love new Cubs catcher Miguel Montero

Major League Baseball Miguel Montero Baseball Chicago Cubs Arizona Diamondbacks Jon Lester Miguel Montero pitch cheap nhl jerseys china framing skills date to tips he learned as a youngster from Omar Vizquel. Hall of Fame left hander Randy Johnson was one of Miguel Montero earliest supporters.

As a youngster in his native Venezuela, Miguel Montero received instruction on fielding grounders from 11 time Gold Glove shortstop Omar Vizquel.

« I remember him telling us to keep our cheap jerseys hands soft, » Montero recalled of the clinic. « Keep your glove loose and catch the ball without effort. »

Montero remembered those tips as he switched from the infield to catcher before joining the Diamondbacks organization in 2002. His development as a catcher has been enhanced by his ability to frame pitches thanks in part to applying the knowledge Vizquel gave him.

That art isn’t wasn’t lost on the Cubs, who acquired Montero and the three years and $40 million left on his contract to shore wholesale nhl jerseys up a weakness.

Parking, rats among problems Wrigley Field neighbors cite in renovation Chris Hine

The sounds form a cacophony of construction jackhammers’ percussive pelting, the persistent beeping of vehicles in reverse and the shrill whine of buzz saws.

The sounds form a cacophony of construction jackhammers’ percussive pelting, the persistent beeping of vehicles in reverse and the shrill whine of buzz saws. ( Chris Hine )

« Those Cubs pitchers are going to love him because they’re going to get a lot of low strikes, » said Diamondbacks pitcher , who won 16 games in 2011 with Montero behind the plate.

General manager Jed Hoyer acknowledged that Montero, a career .264 hitter, is coming off two subpar seasons.

« But we wholesale jerseys from china felt in this environment he was a great change of scenery guy, a good pitch framer, a good defensive catcher who relates well to pitchers, and we felt he was a really good fit for what we were looking to do, » Hoyer said.

The acquisition of Montero, 31, a two time All Star, occurred several hours before prized free agent left hander Jon Lester chose the Cubs over the Red Sox and Giants on Dec. 9.

Chicago CubsCubs legend Ernie Banks remembered as a man who loved life, peopleSee all related8 Montero’s trade to the Cubs was a hit in his Phoenix area neighborhood.

« A lot of my neighbors are Cubs fans, » Montero said with a laugh. « We get along a lot better. »

The neighbors educated Montero on what to expect at the Cubs Convention Jan. 16 18, and he wasn’t disappointed.

« I heard a lot about it, but there’s nothing like seeing it, » said Montero, who received a warm reception before a packed audience during the opening ceremony.

Perhaps Montero’s biggest endorsement came in March of 2009, a season after he caught Hall of Fame left hander Randy Johnson, who went on to pitch his final season with the Giants.

Johnson’s comments didn’t go over well with some Diamondbacks pitchers who defended catcher Chris Snyder, but Montero backed up Johnson’s assessment by playing exceptional defense in addition to batting .294 with 16 home runs and 59 RBIs in his first season as a full time starter.

« (Johnson) told me in September that he was proud of me and that I didn’t let him down, » Montero recalled. « He inspired me, and I thanked him for believing in my ability. »

As a young catcher with the Diamondbacks, Montero said he handled an array of pitching styles, from the hard throwing Johnson to the split finger pitching of Dan Haren to the deliberate, off speed style of Livan Hernandez. That could be beneficial when he handles a new staff led by Lester and includes crafty left hander Tsuyoshi Wada.

« It was all part of the learning process, including their personalities, » Montero said. « There were some days Randy was moody and didn’t want to talk. I’d have to sit down with him, tell a story and get a laugh. »

Hudson said he marveled at Montero’s ability to accurately gauge the strengths and weaknesses of a pitcher each day.

« He has a great game plan, » Hudson said. « He knows the league well. He’ll devote spring training to knowing the pitchers, and he’s good at reading a pitcher during the course of a game. »Articles Connexes:

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