The New York Yankees are still looking to make moves for an established starting pitcher as the offseason rolls on. Between Yu Darvish and Gerrit Cole, the Yankees are hunting when their answer is already wearing pinstripes.The rumors have been swirling for the New York Yankees. After their blockbuster trade to snag the former NL MVP in Giancarlo Stanton, the Bombers now have their sights on an established starting pitcher.
With a rotation almost complete, the Yankees have Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Sonny Gray and CC Sabathia lined up to throw six or seven solid innings and pass the game off to the bullpen. But what about the no. 5 starter?
What’s the problem here? Are the Yankees blind? Are they purposely leaving out perhaps one of the most impressive rookies behind Aaron Judge? Jordan Montgomery held down the back end of the rotation for a good chunk of the season last year and, right now, he’s slipped from everyone’s mind.
Sure, he only has one season under his belt. But what a season it was for the rookie southpaw who was flying under the radar at the beginning of the season.
He may not be established but what he did in the Bronx does not deserve to go unnoticed. Montgomery started 29 games for the Bombers this season, posting a final record of 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA. The 24-year-old averaged 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Rookie or not, Montgomery gave the Yankees more than enough to go off of. As a first-year player, he wrestled the New York spotlight and came out victorious. Sometimes even the biggest names can’t do that.
Montgomery has proven he can handle the Bronx. These other pitchers coming in have yet to be exposed to the ruthless New York spotlight. Darvish received some criticism for his postseason performance in 2017 but just imagine the beating he’d get from the Bronx spotlight if he fell apart in a huge postseason spot.
Through the ups and downs of the season, Montgomery gave consistently impressive performances. Even though he pitched 155.1 innings, it was only his first season shouldering that type of workload. By the end of the season, he didn’t seem fatigued. In fact, he put together some solid performances to round out the regular season.
If the reason for finding a new starter to take over Montgomery’s role is the concern over his inexperience as a starting pitcher in the Bronx, there should be no worries. Montgomery put together an impressive freshman campaign and looks to be ready to handle a heavier workload for next year.
So what’s the point of chasing after Yu Darvish, a pitcher who has only declined from his rookie season in 2012? Why are the Yankees spending so much time chasing after Gerrit Cole when they have a perfect fifth starter already in the slot?
Forget trading away prospects and wasting valuable money on heavily sought-after pitchers when Jordan Montgomery is still wearing pinstripes. It’s time for the Yankees to open their eyes and take a good look at the prize they have right in front of them.
Darvish and Cole can find their own rotations to headline. I’ll take a young, Bronx-tested starting pitcher to finish up this stacked rotation any day.