Yankees Will Need to Rely on This Pitcher More Than Ever
James Paxton will be sidelined until May, but the Yankees firmly believe that they have the means of putting together a solid starting rotation, even without Paxton and possibly Luis Severino.
This is where Jordan Montgomery enters the conversation.
Montgomery has had nearly two rough years for the Yankees, and he has not even pitched in ten games since the beginning of the 2018 season. On May 1, 2018, he left a start against the Astros with elbow tightness. Just over a month later, his season was ended after he tore his UCL and requiring Tommy John Surgery.
Montgomery was brought back last season on Sep. 15, pitching two innings against Toronto and two against Tampa on Sep. 24. The Yankees limited his starts and pitch count just to be sure that he had fully healed and felt good on the mound.
With several months of rest and continued rehabilitation, Montgomery is probably close to his former self. That is exactly what the Yankees are hoping for.
Before the injury to Paxton, Montgomery was going to see himself in a battle for the fifth rotation spot between J.A. Happ and Jonathan Loaisiga. Now, Happ will more than likely see himself as a definite starter and another battle could come about for the new fifth spot.
If Montgomery pitches in Spring Training like he did in 2017 and 2018, watch out! Montgomery had a nice rookie season in 2017, with a 9-7 record and 3.88 ERA in 29 starts. The 2018 season saw him pick up where he left off, until his injury occurred. He finished that season at 2-0 with 27.1 innings pitched in six starts.
Spring Training will dictate how Montgomery could pitch this season. If he feels good, the Yankees should be very confident in his ability to give them quality starts on the mound. After all, they may need him healthy in case Severino’s injury does not go as well as they think.