The New York Yankees are an elite team in the American League. However, if they don’t address the rotation and the bullpen, they are in danger of suffering the same fate as we saw this past season: being eliminated by a top contender because, among other things, a lack of quality pitching options.
After Gerrit Cole, there is a lot of uncertainty in the Yankees’ rotation. Luis Severino is injured, Domingo German hasn’t pitched in over a year, and Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia are young and inexperienced. However, one of the unit’s strong links, is Jordan Montgomery.
It may not seem like it (he finished 2020 with a 5.11 ERA) but Montgomery was actually very good this past campaign. Fortunately, Earned Run Average is not the only run-prevention stat worth following, and in Monty’s case, it was the only outlier: he had a 3.87 FIP, a 3.65 xFIP, and a 3.84 SIERA. What do these metrics tell us? Well, that Jordan Montgomery is, pretty likely, a sub-4.00 ERA true-talent pitcher.
The Yankees have a good one in Montgomery
The Yankees’ homegrown starter had a career-high 12.9 swinging strike percentage (SwStr%) a 9.61 K/9 and a 1.84 BB/9. Generally speaking, pitchers that can miss bats and limit walks have a very bright future, and Montgomery fulfills the criteria.
The Yankees, given all the uncertainty, need Montgomery to stay healthy and pitch up to his abilities to have a real shot at remaining an elite force in the American League. You could make an argument that he is the second-best starter in the team after Cole, as the roster is currently constructed.
Montgomery misses bats with two secondaries: his changeup (38.5 whiff rate) and his curveball (35.3.) He uses a sinker and a cutter in addition to his four-seamer (which was, frankly, not very effective) and has an uncanny ability to induce soft contact: his 84.6 mph average exit velocity was in the top 5% of the league.
If the New York Yankees don’t make any big additions to their rotation in the upcoming weeks, they will rely heavily on what Monty can offer as a stabilization piece in the unit. He has what it takes to deliver, though.