Rookie catcher impresses Melvin - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Rookie catcher impresses Melvin

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Posted: Friday, September 8, 2006 12:40 am | Updated: 4:38 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Former catcher Bob Melvin knows what he likes in a catcher, and he said he saw it in Miguel Montero’s major league debut Wednesday.

“For a kid in his first big league game, the catching position can get a little intimidating, but it wasn’t for him,” Melvin said.

“He was very active out there. Very aware of our plan and how we wanted to attack the hitters. He does everything well back there. He has a good arm. He catches. He blocks. He moves around. I’m very, very impressed with him behind the plate.”

Montero joined the D-Backs on the road trip after hitting .321 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs in 134 at-bats with Triple-A Tucson following a promotion from Double-A Tennessee, where he hit .270 with 10 homers and 46 RBIs in 289 at-bats.

Melvin learned about Montero’s confidence during a spring training game, when Melvin went to the mound to make a pitching change and asked Montero about the young pitcher about to enter the game.

“He told me that he could be all over the place. Then he said ‘I’ll get him through it. Don’t worry about it, skip,’ ” Melvin said. “That’s the way he is.”

Montero made his second appearance Thursday, replacing Johnny Estrada in the fifth inning after Estrada suffered a right forearm contusion when he was hit by a pitch in the fourth.

Montero was charged with a passed ball when he could not handle a sinking fastball from Miguel Batista in the fifth, enabling Yadier Molina to score from third.


Another millisecond and Eric Byrnes might have spoiled Anibal Sanchez’s no-hitter Wednesday.

Byrnes appeared to arrive at first base almost exactly when the ball did after his groundball to shortstop on the final play, but he did not argue umpire Jerry Meals’ lukewarm “out” call.

“I’m telling you, that was close,” Byrnes said. “But in that situation, I really have to be past the bag for him to call me safe. There has to be zero doubt in his mind. If it’s a bang-bang play, it has to go to the defense at that point.

“I tell you what, if I’d hit the ball any softer and (shortstop) Hanley (Ramirez) took his time like he did, there’s no question I would have been safe.”

Florida first baseman Wes Helms said: “It was bang-bang, but he was out. “If the umpire would have called him safe, those few fans we had might have rushed the field.”


Jeff DaVanon is recuperating in Southern California after successful surgery Wednesday to repair a torn tendon in his left ankle, the D-Backs said. The surgery was performed by Dr. Phillip Kwong of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic. DaVanon is expected to be in a cast for four to six weeks before beginning a rehab program that should have him ready for the start of spring training. . . .

Left-hander Brett Anderson, Arizona's second-round selection in the June draft, officially joined the D-Backs on Thursday when his contract was approved by the league office. Anderson, who was given a $950,000 bonus, signed a contract for 2007, and he will make his first appearance in the instructional league in Tucson. . . . Tony Clark was the D-Backs’ winner of the annual Roberto Clemente Award, which honors the player that best demonstrates sportsmanship and community involvement.

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