Montero back with Mariners

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SEATTLE — Jesus Montero is back with the Mariners and he wants to stay forever.

On Thursday, the Mariners announced that they were recalling the one-time prized hitting prospect from Class AAA Tacoma. Montero fills the spot left vacant after outfielder Michael Saunders was placed on the disabled list with a strained acromioclavicular (AC) joint in his right shoulder.

Montero, who was with the Rainiers in Memphis, got the call late Wednesday night. He caught an early flight on Thursday to make it back to Seattle for batting practice.

“It’s a long day for me,” he said. “It was a long flight, but I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to be back on the team. They told me last night and gave me that great news. I called my wife. I called my family. They were all excited. I feel great to be here. I feel like I’ve earned it. I feel like I learned something. Now I want to be here forever.”

Manager Lloyd McClendon made Montero’s role pretty clear.

“He’ll play against left-handers and hopefully gives us a little added punch against left-handers,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He’ll most likely DH.”

The chances of Montero, who is still learning to play first base, actually playing in the field are slim.

Montero was hitting .270 (60-for-222) with eight homers, 40 RBI and a .800 on-base plus slugging percentage in 59 games with Tacoma. His production had slowed considerably. He hit his last homer on May 19 and has just three hits in his past 19 at-bats.

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