On Tuesday morning, Joe Girardi acknowledged that Montero might be pressing.
“I think so,” Girardi said. “I think it’s only natural. The first time that you have an opportunity to win a job in the big leagues, I think almost everyone is going to put some pressure on themselves. Very seldom do you see a guy not. A lot of times you’ll see a guy do much better when they know they’re not going (to the big leagues).”
I didn’t see Montero after yesterday’s game, but late last week he said he was still focused on improving behind the plate. His offense, he said, was not a concern.
“That’ll come,” Montero said. “I just worry about catching, try to do my best behind the plate and win games.”
That seems to be what the Yankees are most worried about too. Girardi has said he’s paying attention to the defensive strides of their backup catcher candidates, and frankly, both Austin Romine and Gustavo Molina are hitting below Montero’s spring numbers. Montero has hit enough in the minor leagues to make the Yankees — and just about everyone else — believe he’ll hit in the big leagues.
“There can be anxiety in hitting,” Girardi said. “They can try to do too much when they’re at the plate at a young age, trying to impress people. A lot of times, if you just do what you’ve been doing, it’s usually good enough. That can happen your first year in the big leagues, too. A guy has to figure out how to relax… (Montero) hasn’t hit like I think he’s capable of. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because he’s not playing every day, maybe there is anxiety.”
Associated Press photo