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Montero gets first start behind the plate

Montero gets first start behind the plate

Montero gets first start behind the plate
ARLINGTON -- Mariners rookie Jesus Montero will make his first start at catcher Wednesday against the Rangers, with John Jaso getting his first action of the season at designated hitter.

Montero has played five of the first six games at DH, but this will be his first time behind the plate. He's hitting .278 (5-for-18) with one RBI. Jaso was also acquired by trade over the offseason, but has seen his opportunities limited by the addition of Montero behind starter Miguel Olivo.

"I'm excited," said Jaso, who hit .245 with a .340 on-base percentage in parts of the past three seasons with the Rays. "I've been marinating on the bench for a little while, so yeah, it'll be good to see action."

Wedge said he wanted to get Montero behind the plate and Jaso into a game, but he wasn't committing to how often he'll go with those combinations going forward.

"We've got to get into it for a bit. I don't really have anything preset in my mind," he said. "I want to work off Miggy and Montero and Jaso a little bit, and the rest of our ballclub. The last thing I want to do is define something too early here. We're only a week into it. We need to give it some time."

Wedge said part of the thinking was giving Olivo the night off so he can come back in the day game on Thursday, as well as the fact veteran Kevin Millwood is on the mound and he worked well with the rookie Montero in a Spring Training outing.

As for Jaso? The 28-year-old says he's been staying as sharp as possible while waiting his turn.

"Catching-wise I've been catching a lot of bullpens," he said. "And I've stayed focused in my batting practices. I'm trying to get good repetitions a not just going up there playing home run derby because I know I'm not in the lineup."

Jaso makes it clear he's not disappointed with his reduced role. He understands the business of baseball and just wants to make the most of the chances he does get.

"It's cool. New uniform, new look, everything like that," he said. "I'm real excited to be playing for these guys. Getting in the lineup is a good feeling. But don't get me wrong, just being here is a great feeling. I'm definitely not bitter being on the bench.

"I do like helping out wherever I can, whether it's working with pitchers or contributing to the team with whatever spot I'm in. Now hopefully I can contribute with the bat offensively. It'd be good to get on the board wearing a Mariners uniform."

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