Yankees banking healed Jordan Montgomery can boost rotation
Part 17 of a series of a series analyzing the New York Yankees
Jordan Montgomery made it back from June 2018 Tommy John surgery to make a pair of appearances last September and looked good this spring before MLB was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Yankees have plenty riding on Montgomery when — and if — this season ever gets underway, especially in the wake of Luis Severino being lost at least until early 2021 because of his own elbow surgery.
But beyond that, Montgomery is at the forefront of what could look like a much different starting staff in the near future.
With Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and perhaps J.A. Happ, if his vesting option kicks in, eligible for free agency following this season, the Yankees will have to fill out a staff behind Gerrit Cole.
There will be questions surrounding Severino coming off Tommy John, as well as about Domingo German, who still has to serve the rest of his suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence protocol last year.
Montgomery will also still have to prove himself due to the extensive amount of time he’s missed and the fact he has pitched just 186 ²/₃ innings in the majors over three seasons.
His performance during this spring had the Yankees encouraged.
“He has been good all spring,’’ Aaron Boone said in March. “From his bullpens, to uptick in velocity, he was really good. The way he was able to finish, too. … The curveball was good and the changeup was really good.’’
The increase in velocity is a good sign for the left-hander, who was in line to be the Yankees’ fourth starter to open the year, with Severino out, along with Paxton, who was expected to miss the beginning of the season following back surgery.
Regardless of what happens the rest of 2020, more will likely be expected of Montgomery in 2021, especially if Tanaka or Paxton — or both — are gone and Severino doesn’t make it back until midseason.
Depending on what the Yankees do to fortify their rotation, inexperienced starters like Jonathan Loaisiga, Michael King or prospects Deivi Garcia or Clarke Schmidt figure to be called on.
Montgomery impressed during his rookie season in 2017 before going down with the elbow injury the following year.
Source : George A. King III Link