mariners

Who should start at catcher: Jesus Montero or Kelly Shoppach?

Quien es Mas Macho?

Mariners involved in amazing pitching duel Wednesday night, the offense is still the most annoying thing ever.

After starting seven of the first nine games, Jesus Montero has been reduced to splitting time with “the Shop Vac” Kelly Shoppach.

So, how should the Mariners operate this time? (No, this article is not about Mike Zunino).

When faced with the great question of deciding between a hot hitter, Shoppach is hitting .389/.476/.667 while playing great defense, and Montero is an incredibly inefficient hitter who is supposed to be the best hitter in your lineup for the next decade?

Choices, choices…

Montero is hitting better in his last three games, getting on base twice in each, but the man is hitting only singles.

That’s not true, he has a double, but he was brought here to hit home runs, he is why the fences were moved in for right-handed hitters this offseason, and he needs to produce.

For now, Montero will be fine continuing to destroy fantasy teams across the northwest until he heats up.

Kelly Shoppach Mariners

Shoppach has been the better of the two catchers this season (Photo: mlbblogs.com)

Is Shoppach getting extra at-bats worth delaying that process?

Montero should not catch every game, but instead of resting every 5th day with a planned pitcher for Shoppach, the exchange has become every other day.

Watching Felix Hernandez pitch Wednesday night was a thing of beauty, watching Montero try to handle those pitches was even more exciting to watch.

Should Shoppach get more innings?

Shoppach is a far superior catcher, but should not be in there every day.

Compromise; please let the far superior catcher play defensively for the best pitcher in the rotation and maybe the world (Hernandez), and then spell Montero on day games throughout the year.

Hot hitting or not, Montero needs to be in the lineup, because the M’s need that train rolling more than anything else.

Hernandez’ numbers need to be noted:

8 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 0 ER and 12 K’s on Wednesday night. But once again, not enough for him to get his 100th career victory.

The run given up on his watch was unearned, but the way he and Max Scherzer matched each other pitch-for-pitch was amazing to watch.

Neither received the award of a decision.

Editors note: The game finally ended in the 14th inning as the Tigers beat the Mariners 2-1. The M’s went for the win, which was nice, but Justin Smoak was thrown out trying to score off of Dustin Ackley‘s liner to right.

The box score can be seen here.

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