Montero not ruled out for next season

t.cotterill@thenewstribune.comAugust 6, 2013 

Montero:Slapped with 50-game suspension

The Seattle Mariners will be without Jesus Montero for the rest of the season.

More precisely, the Tacoma Rainiers will be without the budding star.

Montero was one of 12 players suspended by baseball commissioner Bud Selig on Monday for violations of the league’s drug rules.

On what was dubbed “Biogenesis Day,” MLB handed down 13 suspensions. Twelve players, including Montero, were suspended for 50 games. They were caught in Major League Baseball’s investigation of the now-closed Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Miami.

“I think it’s what needed to be done,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “There were so many people, players included, who wanted this thing to stop, wanted it cleaned up. We support the suspensions; we support what happened. Hopefully it will be a deterrent for anyone who wants to do this in the future.”

Montero and the others will go without pay for the rest of the regular season. Montero had been playing in the minor leagues with the Rainiers since his demotion from the Mariners on May 23.

Zduriencik didn’t count out Montero’s return to the club next season and said he plans to send him to the Arizona Rookie League this winter. Montero cannot compete in any games or participate in on-field activities until the suspension is served, but he can use the batting cages and participate in simulated games.

Zduriencik said he still thinks Montero can be a great player for the Mariners — sticking to the feeling he’s had about Montero, 23, since trading for him before the 2012 season.

“He’s always been a really, really good hitter,” Zduriencik said. “That would beg the question, ‘Why would you do something like this at a very young age when you have such a promising future ahead of you?’”

Mariners union representative and reliever Charlie Furbush said he doesn’t believe anyone on the team will have any hard feelings toward Montero.

“It is what it is,” he said. “It’s nothing that I think changes my feeling about a person as a whole. He just did something that he probably regrets.

“At the end of the day, we want to move on from this as much as they do. Once that process is over, you got to accept that person as a whole and try to win ball games with that person.”

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