Seattle replaced Montero on the active roster with catcher Jesus Sucre. Sucre, who hit .302 (16-for-53) with one double and five RBIs for Tacoma, was inserted into the lineup against Texas but will fill the backup-catcher role.
"I think you evaluate everything at face value for what it is, and as we watched a little bit of what Triunfel did last year, we watched him in Spring Training, and you watched what he's done this year, I think all of us, the organization, felt that this is a guy who's a pretty good defensive player, he's got a great throwing arm and there was going to be a point in time where we needed to see him at the big-league level," Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "We thought that was important.
"You get to a point where you make a decision on this player going forward as well as the other factors. With Robert Andino's situation, signing this year to be a backup infielder, we thought that it would probably be a short-term deal, and then you just evaluate where you're at and where you're going and what you're trying to accomplish, and I think with Triunfel and the things he's done that he deserves the chance to be up here right in our eyes so we can watch this kid play."
The team also deemed it important for Montero to get his head clear and his offensive game on track in Triple-A while learning the ropes at first base. Montero appeared overmatched at times behind the plate at the Major League level, and manager Eric Wedge said getting reps at first and playing designated hitter while still catching once or twice per week will help Montero focus on getting his swing back.
"In the end, his bat, that's the carrying tool," Wedge said. "And with as much time, effort and emotion, energy he had to put in behind the plate, it just didn't feel like we were putting him in a position to succeed offensively."
As for Sucre, the team loves his defense. He hasn't made an error in 110 consecutive games, dating back to Aug. 27, 2011, while playing with Double-A Jackson. Sucre, 25, said his first words when he found out he was going to the big leaguers were, "Oh my God." But he said he wasn't all that nervous about making his debut.
"I'll just get in there and do my job," Sucre said. "Do the best I can."
And as for infield prospect Nick Franklin, who was batting .318 with four homers and 20 RBIs and a .920 on-base-plus-slugging percentage entering Friday's game for Tacoma, the Mariners are continuing to be patient.
"I think what Nick needs is to play down there every day and get his at-bats," Zduriencik said. "He's playing second and shortstop. I think most people would tell you, at least right now, that Carlos is a more accomplished shortstop. And I think that was a key component in why we wanted him up here. ... I think Nick just needs to stay down there and continue to swing the bat."