SEATTLE -- This time last year, Jesus Montero was a rising prospect, a catcher and the one the New York Yankees let get away.
Montero was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday to be in the Mariners' dugout against his former team, and he merely hopes to shake the perception that he is a bust.
Montero could get his last chance at being a part of the Mariners' long-term plans as he returns to the team as a platoon designated hitter. Seattle recalled him Thursday to fill a roster spot that came open when outfielder Michael Saunders was placed on the 15-day disabled list. All indications are that Montero will DH against left-handed pitchers. He didn't play Thursday in Seattle's 6-3 loss to New York.
Unlike the last time Montero was in Seattle, the expectations are pretty low this time around. He is basically a cat on his ninth life after enduring a horrific 2013 season that included a demotion, a position change, an injury and a 50-game suspension as part of the Biogenesis investigation.
Montero, 24, further infuriated the organization by showing up for spring training out of shape, at which time general manager Jack Zduriencik essentially said that he was no longer a part of the team's future.
In 59 games for Tacoma this season, Montero hit .270 with a .345 on-base percentage, a .455 slugging percentage, eight homers and 40 RBIs.
Montero is getting another chance to play his way into the Mariners' plans, and this time it might be his final opportunity to prove why he was once considered one of the top hitting prospects in baseball.