In dumping Miguel Montero, Cubs look to shore up clubhouse culture

The damage was done as soon as President Theo Epstein read quotes from veteran catcher Miguel Montero criticizing teammate Jake Arrieta.

And in designating the 33-year-old Montero for assignment Wednesday, the Cubs believe they took a step toward protecting several young players in what they maintain is a stable clubhouse.

Montero was removed from the roster after the Nationals stole seven bases Tuesday night and he later blasted Arrieta and other pitchers for not holding baserunners closer.

“(There are) too many young guys in (the clubhouse) who are impressionable,” manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s not like a group of veterans who can separate and dissect it properly (so) they can walk with what’s necessary and drop off what’s not.

“With this young impressionable group, to me, and a really good group that’s going to be together for a long time, you don’t want to foster, nurture, condone (Montero’s) kind of message.”

Epstein, in a conference call with beat writers, essentially made up his mind after learning Montero ranted for several minutes about “my pitchers don’t hold anyone on.”

General manager Jed Hoyer alerted Epstein of the comments and Epstein spoke separately with Maddon and Montero late Tuesday. After speaking with selected players, Epstein informed Montero of his removal Wednesday morning — even after Montero called Arrieta to apologize.

Source link