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Montero back to work with Rainiers in Triple-A

HOUSTON -- Jesus Montero has been reinstated from Triple-A Tacoma's disabled list and resumed playing for the Rainiers, going 1-for-5 with a triple in his first game back on Thursday before sitting out Friday in Fresno.

The plan for Montero is to play designated hitter and first base the remainder of the season as he returns from surgery on a torn meniscus in his right knee. After starting the season as the Mariners primary catcher, he was headed for a position transition even before his surgery.

Now he'll skip catching completely, with the Mariners hoping he can regain the offensive prowess that made him one of baseball's top hitting prospects when he was acquired from the Yankees two years ago.

"We just want him to find his swing," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "We are not asking him to catch any more this year. It's going to be first base and DH. So just be more consistent offensively. We know what his upside is and we know what he is capable of doing. We want him to go to the ballpark each and every day and look to be better offensively.

"He's been through a lot this year. It's all part of developing as a human being, as a man, as a baseball player. It's very rarely an easy trail. I'm sure he understands that more than he did before."

Montero, 23, hit .260 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs last year in 135 games for Seattle, but was batting just .208 with three homers and nine RBIs in 29 games when he was demoted in May this year. In eight games with Tacoma, he's hit .242 with no home runs and three RBIs.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.
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