Giving Montero the Finger

During the off-season many of the Arizona Diamondbacks took some well deserved time off to regroup and get ready for the 2008 season. Some of the players returned to their home countries and started their second season. For a lot of players especially from Latin America it becomes a matter of national pride to play winter ball for their country. Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero is one such player. Miguel returned to Venezuela to play for Bravos de Margarita. Montero was putting up decent numbers hitting .258 in 23 games. His defense was progressing nicely with several people commenting on the young catcher’s ability to call a game.

While it is commendable for a player to wish to play for their country it does have its risks which Miguel Montero learned the hard way. In a game in December Montero took a foul tip off his right index finger causing the finger to break. It was still early and Montero had plenty of time to try and heal before Spring Training began for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Unfortunately the finger is not healing as quickly as Miguel or the team wants. As pitchers and catchers reported on February 15 Montero found himself struggling with the finger. The Diamondbacks did not want to take any chances with their young catcher and held him out of drills pending an examination by noted hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan. The diagnosis is still pending but for now it looks like lots of rest. Both Montero and the Diamondbacks front office are hopeful that this is just a minor setback and that Miguel will be ready for Opening Day. But with every day that Montero is not available to take part in drills and active duty it becomes less likely that he will start the season with the Diamondbacks. Fortunately Arizona has Robby Hammock who can fill in nicely for Montero but this is the last thing that they want to be dealing with before Spring Training games even start.

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