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Montero leaves after hit in the head by pitch

Montero leaves after hit in the head by pitch

Montero leaves after hit in the head by pitch
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners rookie catcher Jesus Montero was removed from Seattle's Cactus League game in the sixth inning Monday after getting hit in the helmet by a pitch by Colorado's Edgmer Escalona.

Montero, the Mariners' prize prospect acquired from the Yankees in the Michael Pineda trade this offseason, was initially dazed by the glancing blow off the side of his head, but said he was fine afterward.

The 22-year-old had to be momentarily restrained by manager Eric Wedge and trainer Rick Griffin as they helped him off the field as Escalona stood at the front of the mound staring at him.

"That's normal," Montero said of his angry response. "That's not games, you know, somebody getting hit in the head. I'd bet anybody would get mad. Hit me in my body, but not in the head. But after that I was fine because Wedge was like, 'Hey, relax. That happens in the game.'

"I was a little dizzy," he said. "After that I was looking at him like, 'Are you serious?' I don't have any other comments. It's not easy."

Both Montero and Escalona, 25, are from Venezuela, but there was no prior history between the two. Escalona was sent down to the Minors a few days ago by Colorado, but was used Monday in relief of Jamie Moyer.

"I don't know him," said Montero. "I have no idea of where he's from, but I got mad because that's not a game. I cannot play anymore if he hits me in the head really hard. But thank God everything is fine."

Wedge said it was a scary incident, but Montero was able to avoid any serious damage.

"It got him on the fat part of the helmet, so that's the good thing," Wedge said. "He seems to be OK."

Montero was hit with the bases loaded and went down in a heap after Escalona had already allowed one run in his first inning in relief.

The Rockies had just gone through an incident of their own a day earlier as Indians pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez received a five-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing a pitch at Troy Tulowitzki.

Wedge said he didn't know if there was any intent on Escalona's part.

"I don't know," Wedge said. "[Jesus] was upset. Anytime you get hit up in that region, I think anybody would be upset."

Montero had gone 1-for-3 and is hitting .326 this spring for Seattle, which is in the midst of a five-game run of Cactus League games after already opening the regular season in the Opening Series against the A's in Tokyo.

The young catcher was more happy about catching Felix Hernandez for four shutout innings in the game as he continued his development behind the plate. Montero played designated hitter in Seattle's first two regular-season games in Tokyo, but will see some time catching behind starter Miguel Olivo this season.

"It's fun to catch him," Montero said of Hernandez. "For me, he throws the invisible ball. Nobody can hit him. He's a good pitcher. He's got great talent and everybody knows that. He's unbelievable. He came today all happy and said, 'Let me throw a couple zeroes.' I said OK, 'I'm just gonna try to catch it.' We had fun and did a good job together."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }