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First Pitch: Montero returns

5/11/2012

Jesus Montero is hitting .268 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 112 at-bats. If you were to project that to 142 games, Montero would finish with 20 homers and 79 RBIs.

Those are not bad numbers, but they aren't out of this world; especially if Montero can't really catch in the majors. The Mariners are giving it a shot, though, as Montero has been behind the plate for 12 of his 30 games.

Montero will be in Yankee Stadium tonight. The last time he was here, he appeared to be the best Yankees hitting prospect in a long time. He nailed four homers with 12 RBIs in just 61 at-bats and hit .328 in September and looked as if he may be the right-handed hitting Jorge Posada -- maybe even better.

Not only will the Yankees see Montero, but Hector Noesi will be on the mound Saturday. With Montero, Noesi went west for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. As you know, Pineda is done for the season after shoulder surgery. At Single-A, Jose Campos rocketed to a great start, but now he, too, is on the DL with elbow inflammation.

UP NOW: My column on CC Sabathia and his need for help. Kieran Darcy on how Brett Gardner could be out 2-to-3 weeks, maybe more.

ON DECK: Every game vs. Seattle offers an interesting pitching matchup: Tonight, Felix Hernandez (3-1, 1.89 ERA) is on the mound vs. Hiroki Kuroda (2-4, 3.75). On Saturday, Noesi (2-3, 6.30 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (2-4, 6.67) with Hughes fighting for his spot. And then the Mother's Day Main Event, Andy Pettitte vs. Blake Beavan (1-3, 4.32)

IN THE HOLE: Katie Sharp's always fun Yankeemetrics at 10:10 a.m.The one and only Wally Matthews will be driving the ship all day and night. His co-pilot will be the hard-working Mike Mazzeo.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How many homers will Montero hit this weekend?