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Focused Montero moving past allegations

Mariners' catcher worked on improving speed during offseason

Focused Montero moving past allegations

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners catcher Jesus Montero says he's put last week's report linking his name to the controversial Miami anti-aging clinic behind him and is focused solely on getting ready for Spring Training and the upcoming season.

Montero is primed to become the Mariners' starting catcher in his second year with Seattle and said he's worked hard all offseason on improving his speed while working out with a trainer in Venezuela.

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The 23-year-old was among the club's pitchers and catchers reporting on Tuesday and said neither he nor his brother -- a catcher in the Cardinals organization also named Jesus Montero -- have had anything to do with the Biogenesis clinic that had his name in a notebook, according to a report by the New York Daily News.

"I don't really know what's going on," Montero said. "I don't have anything to do with those people. I know my agency is handling it, but I don't know anything about it. I just talked to my family and told them there's nothing to worry about. I'm just doing my job and trying to get ready for Spring Training and the season. What can I say? It surprised me, too.

"For me, I just want to focus on baseball, be here and pay attention to my team and be ready," he said. "I know I didn't do anything wrong."

Montero said he worked almost exclusively on his speed and strength this offseason with trainer Fernando Rodriguez in Valencia, Venezuela, and that he hopes to show some improvement in that regard.

"I worked my arms, my legs, how to do everything right," he said. "Because you know I don't run really well. I'm slow. Everybody knows that. But they were teaching me little things, not to be real fast, but just to be a little bit better."

Montero said he worked on his running 3-4 years ago for a short time, but stopped because he wanted to concentrate more on baseball skills.

"This year was nothing about hitting and nothing about catching," he said. "It was just getting my body in shape and trying to be better with running and be more flexible. I feel different, I feel better."

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.

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