The New York Yankees rotation, thankfully, has it all. It has Gerrit Cole, the star in his prime; it has James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka, the talented veterans looking to rebound and return to their highest performance level; and it has J.A. Happ, the experienced southpaw in the twilight of his career. It has young, unproven guns in Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia, as well.
However, there is a unique element, different than the rest: Jordan Montgomery, a talented lefty in the prime of his career looking to show his best stuff after a lengthy injury layoff. He actually returned last year, but only for a handful of innings. With the Yankees boasting so many arms for 2021 and beyond (let’s remember that, in 2021, both Luis Severino and Domingo German will be part of the rotation, with the former presumably at full speed and without restrictions) Montgomery needs to perform so he can be a part of the New York Yankees’ future.
Of course, he has several things going in his favor. He is young at 27 years old, not to mention controllable – he is a free agent after the 2023 season – and talented. In 2017, his first and so far last full, healthy season, he had a 3.88 ERA in 155.1 frames, with a healthy 2.82 K/BB ratio.
The Yankees’ rotation stabilizer
The Yankees, in Montgomery, have a high-floor starter who may not have the highest of ceilings, but is talented enough to be a sub-4.00 ERA performer for the duration of his controllable years. He looked good in the two appearances he had last year in September and in the abbreviated 2020 spring training.
Montgomery will, most likely, be part of the future Yankees, given that Tanaka, Paxton and (presumably) Happ’s contracts will expire after the 2020 season.
So far, Aaron Boone has shown faith in his lefty arm. â€œHe has been good all spring,â€™â€™ he said in March. â€œFrom his bullpens, to uptick in velocity, he was really good. The way he was able to finish, too. â€¦ The curveball was good and the changeup was really good.â€™â€™
The increase in velocity is a great sign for the left-hander, and it will help him improve his fastball, which is actually one of his worst offerings.
â€œHeâ€™s got some good weapons and he knows how to use them,â€™â€™ one AL scout said according to the New York Post.
â€œAnd he doesnâ€™t seem afraid out there. I think watching CC [Sabathia] and some of the other veterans when he came up helped him.â€™â€™
â€œHe only threw [four] innings when he came back last year, but he had good command this spring,â€™â€™ he said.