The Chicago Cubs will designate Miguel Montero for assignment, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com, one day after the catcher blamed starting pitcher Jake Arrieta for allowing the Washington Nationals to steal seven bases against the Cubs on Tuesday night.
Montero seemingly confirmed the move on Twitter, thanking teammates and fans for his time in Chicago:
"That's the reason they were running left and right today, because they [Arrieta] were slow to the plate," Montero said after the 6-1 loss, per Rogers. "Simple as that. It's a shame it's my fault because I didn't throw anyone out."
"It really sucked, because the stolen bases go on me," Montero continued. "But when you really look at it, the pitcher doesn't give me any time, so yeah, 'Miggy can't throw anyone out,' but my pitchers don't hold anyone on."
Those comments didn't sit well with at least one of Montero's teammates, first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
"He's frustrated. He's obviously frustrated. When anytime anyone steals seven bases, Miggy gets frustrated," Rizzo said during an interview on WMVP-AM on Tuesday, per John Silver of the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's his second time barking at the media and not just going to his teammates. As a veteran like he is, you'd think he'd make smart decisions about it."
Rizzo added, "We win as a team and we lose at a team. When you start pointing fingers, I think that labels you as a selfish player. We have another catcher who throws everyone out who steals."
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports wasn't surprised to see the Cubs part ways with Montero after his comments:
Indeed, there was truth to Montero's words. His manager, Joe Maddon, echoed some of his sentiments after the game Tuesday night.
"It's about time to the plate," Maddon said of Arrieta, per Rogers. "He's a little bit slow ... It's something he works on. There are times he's quicker and better to work with. The best [antidote] is to keep the guy off the base."
But Rogers also noted that Montero's effectiveness throwing out runners has waned, writing: "His average 'pop time' (2.11 seconds) to second base ranks second-worst among all catchers."
Montero, 33, played a big part in the Cubs' World Series title last season. This year he's hitting .286 with four home runs and eight RBI. While his comments likely won't sit well with some players around baseball and his defense behind the plate is lacking, he's a veteran backstop with some pop who likely will land with another team, even in a backup role.