After a stellar camp thus far, New York Yankees young lefty Jordan Montgomery is opening eyes and has obtained consideration for a rotation spot.
24-year-old left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery is taking his outside chance at making the New York Yankees starting rotation and running away with it.
Through four games, Montgomery has surrendered just four runs in 10.1 innings of work (3.48 ERA) and has struck out five while holding opposing hitters to a .179 batting average. The most impressive of the four appearances, however, came on Friday afternoon.
The southpaw a perfect four innings to close out the Yankees’ combined no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers and has planted himself in the discussion to possibly contend for one of the two available starter jobs in the Bronx.
“That was definitely my best outing so far,” said New York’s fourth-round pick of the 2014 draft. “I felt a little bit more under control, especially those last two innings. Starting to settle in.”
He’s starting to settle in and standout, opposed to the five right-handers competing for the two open jobs behind the apparent locks of ace Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda.
Chad Green and Luis Cessa are struggling with command, Adam Warren will best serve the Yankees in his swingman role and Luis Severino, while he has figured out his changeup, can’t seem to work his fastball into the lower part of the zone — but is somehow a favorite.
Bryan Mitchell has impressed in camp and experienced major league success last season, but with no one else separating from the pack, Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi didn’t rule out the possibility of Montgomery sneaking in.
“We like him a lot. We’ve said that all along,” Girardi said. “He’s got a good breaking ball, a good changeup and throws on a downward angle, which we like. He’s different than a lot of lefties in a sense. He threw the ball very well today. We’re curious about him.”
Before being an underrated prospect in the Yankees’ system, Jordan Montgomery was a big-time ace during his collegiate days at South Carolina. In five career NCAA tournament starts, he went 5-0 with a 0.93 ERA and since being drafted, he has flown under-the-radar until 2016.
Between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season, Montgomery registered a 14-5 record featuring a 2.13 ERA and 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings. His ERA dipped to 0.97 in his six Triple-A starts while holding the opposition to a .212 batting average.
In four starts from Aug. 7 to Aug. 25, he went 4-0 and didn’t allow a single earned in during what was a 30-inning scoreless streak. He capped off his unbelievable step-up in performance with a win in the Triple-A National Championship game after allowing just one run on six hits without a walk in five innings.
Now, with not much left to do in the minor leagues for the four-pitch machine (compliments his fastball with a changeup, cutter, and curveball with repeated delivery), he certainly has a tremendous case to break camp as the latest Baby Bomber to make an impact at the big league level.
At the very least, there truly is an outside shot for Montgomery to earn playing time with the big boys beyond spring training. It surely remains a long-shot but considering there were 22 starts made by starters that weren’t on the 25-man roster to start the 2016 season, the Yankees won’t forget this tryout as soon as the need for a starter emerges.