5/23 Montanez to Cubs — finally
It’s been a long, curious route to Wrigley Field for Lou Montanez, who has reportedly been called up to the Cubs for Tuesday’s game against the Mets. Montanez was the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft. He never made it to the big leagues after seven years in the Minors with the Cubs and was declared a Minor League free agent after the ’06 season. He signed with the Orioles, and made his Major League debut 2008. That season, he won the Eastern League batting crown with a .335 average and was promoted on Aug. 5.
But he opened ’09 at Triple-A Norfolk, and missed more than three months because of torn ligaments in his right thumb suffered in early May. He began last season at Norfolk again and was called up to the Orioles in April. He appeared in 26 games, batting .140, before he was sidelined with a strained left oblique June 21-Aug. 13.
Montanez, 29, signed a Minor League deal with the Cubs on Jan. 12 this year and was in Spring Training camp as a non-roster invitee.
The Des Moines Register reported that Iowa manager Bill Dancy confirmed Montanez’s call-up. The Cubs need an extra outfielder with Marlon Byrd out for an indefinite period of time after suffering facial fractures Saturday night when he was hit by a pitch. Montanez was batting .369 with five homers, 11 doubles, three triples and 43 RBIs in 42 games with Iowa.
— Carrie Muskat