Montero's Injury Not as Bad as Feared
Miguel Montero (Getty Images)

Posted Apr 15, 2010


The Arizona Diamondbacks could have starting catcher Miguel Montero back in four-to-six weeks, since two doctors have confirmed that Montero has no ligament damage in his right knee. Montero will undergo surgery today to repair the torn meniscus in the knee.

The Diamondbacks could breathe a sigh of relief regarding Miguel Montero's status Wednesday.

Neither Dr. Michael Lee nor Dr. Lewis Yocum believes Montero incurred ligament damage at the same time he suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee Saturday night. Lee is scheduled to perform arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus Thursday morning.

"It's as good a bad news as you can get," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said Wednesday, the day after Montero received a second opinion from Yocum in Los Angeles. "He's ready to get it in and get it done. He feels like every day he's missing (now), he's missing on the back end."

The D-backs are estimating that Montero will be out between four and six weeks, although the fact that a catcher puts more stress on his knees than any other player makes setting a timetable more problematic.

"The toughest part in that recovery process, from guys that I know, is (Montero) being a catcher," said Hinch, a former major league catcher. "That's probably the worst position to have knee laxity and knee issues. But now that we know the problem, we can go fix it."

Catcher Chris Snyder is 4-for-11 with a double, a homer, three walks and six RBI in three starts since Montero went down, but Hinch said he also wants to work backup John Hester into the lineup.

Hester, who had a homer in two games at Class AAA Reno before being recalled Sunday, could start the final game on the D-backs' series in Los Angeles on Thursday, Hinch said, and is likely to start the Sunday finale of the San Diego series, a day game after a night game.

DIAMONDBACKS 9, DODGERS 7 (11 innings): CF Chris Young singled home the tiebreaking run, and 2B Augie Ojeda followed with a sacrifice fly as the D-backs won for the fourth time in six games. RHP Leo Rosales pitched two scoreless innings to get the win after the Dodgers tied it with a run in the ninth off closer RHP Chad Qualls.  RF Justin Upton had three hits, scored three times and was a triple short of the cycle. SS Stephen Drew doubled, homered and scored three times. The game took 4 hours, 57 minutes to complete.

SNAKE BYTES

--SS Stephen Drew improved his career average to .410 against Dodgers RHP Chad Billingsley with two hits and a walk in his three plate appearances Wednesday. Drew hit a ground-rule double to right-center in the first inning and a leadoff home run to deep right field in the fourth. Billingsley walked him in the fifth. Drew is 16-for-39 against Billingsley, the most hits he has against any opponent. The left-handed-swinging shortstop is also 15-for-31 (.484) against Atlanta RHP Derek Lowe.

--2B Kelly Johnson left Wednesday's game in the bottom of the sixth inning with back stiffness and was replaced by Augie Ojeda. Johnson flied out, walked and doubled in his three plate appearances. "It wasn't one thing. It just gradually got more and more stiff," said Johnson, who is hitting .360 with three doubles and three homers. He may get Thursday off.

--The Diamondbacks won their first two series of the season by taking two of three from San Diego and Pittsburgh. It was a reversal of 2009, when they did not win their first two series until the final week of April. The D-backs will look to win their third series in a row Thursday behind RHP Dan Haren in Los Angeles after splitting the first two games. They did not win their third series last season until taking three of four from Florida from May 19-21, after A.J. Hinch had replaced Bob Melvin as manager.

--C Chris Snyder, like Randy Newman, loves L.A. Nine of Snyder's 53 career home runs have come against the Dodgers, and six have come at Dodger Stadium. Snyder had an RBI single and walked twice in the D-backs' 9-5 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday, and he singled and walked again Wednesday. Snyder, who has 20 RBI at Chavez Ravine, hit six of his first seven career homers against the Dodgers. He took LHP Odalis Perez deep three times in a span of seven days in 2004.

--The D-backs have left Tucson for good, but former D-back RHP Albie Lopez has not. Lopez, 38, signed a contract with the Tucson Toros of the independent Golden Baseball League this week. Despite spending only three months with the D-backs in 2001, Lopez has a special place in team history. Acquired from Tampa Bay for the stretch drive, Lopez beat Milwaukee on October 5 to clinch the 2001 NL West title, and the D-backs went on to win the World Series. Lopez was 4-7 with a 4.00 ERA in 13 starts for Arizona.

DIAMOND STAT:
852 -- Total feet of home runs hit by Kelly Johnson on April 7. He hit a 421-footer in the first and a 431-footer in the fifth, his first two hits of the season.

QUOTABLE:
"There were times last year you kind of wanted to hit the reset button and start 0-0 again. I think small-term goals are probably better and smarter for us. Winning that game. Winning a series. Taking care of our business at home is obviously important." -- RHP Dan Haren, on his team's early-season mindset.


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