Jordan Montgomery wasn’t initially on the Yankees radar when the team was choosing the winners of the fourth and fifth starter competition.
But, here we are on April 12th, with Montgomery slated to make his Major League debut against the Tampa Bay Rays as the Yankees fifth starter.
The Yankees announced at the end of Spring Training Luis Severino won the fourth starter job, but the Yankees wanted to wait until April 16th to announce the fifth starter. A week before April 16th, the Yankees decided to bring up Montgomery up early, especially since Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia could use an extra day of rest.
“Because of how hard Tanaka worked in that fifth inning (on Saturday), I actually told Larry (Rothschild) after the game that it might be a good idea to give him an extra day,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Monday after the Yankees defeated the Rays 8-1 at Yankee Stadium. “I called (Brian Cashman) later that night.”
So with Montgomery pitching today, Severino will be pushed back tomorrow, and Tanaka and Sabathia will start against the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend. When asked what he liked in particular about Montgomery, Girardi said the following:
“He has a four-pitch mix, with a very good downhill angle, and he’s 6-foot-6 and lefty,” Girardi said. “His stuff is really good – he’s able to use his breaking ball extremely well, and when he locates his fastball it’s good – and he has different ways he can get you out. We think he has a chance to be really good.”
Montgomery entered the rotation picture during the final two weeks of Spring Training, and impressed. He had a 3.20 ERA at the end of the Spring, which included pitching four hit-less innings during the Spring Training no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers.
“I think the consistency is what separated him, and when we watched him, there was deception,” Girardi said. “You watch some of the swings he got, even when he was behind in the count, and they weren’t always good. I know it’s a small sample, but sometimes swings can tell you a lot about a pitcher.”