When New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman traded away Jordan Montgomery, there was visible shock amongst both the players and fans. During a deadline in which the Yankees publicly came out and stated their desire to add frontline starters and inning eaters, the team instead traded away one of their more reliable arms.
While it is now known that the team didn’t see a huge role for Monty coming down the stretch and, in the postseason, he has seemingly taken it personally.
Since being traded, across 25.1 innings pitched, Monty has only given up a single run. Last night was the true pinnacle of his time in St. Louis thus far, as he pitched a one-hit complete game shutout, whilst “Madduxing” it, where he threw less than 100 pitches.
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Montgomery has always been one of the more underrated arms in baseball and is the definition of a consistent & reliable number three starter. However, being in STL has only elevated his game, and he has taken that next step forward since arriving.
Harrison Bader is a difference-maker for the Yankees:
Acquiring Bader is a phenomenal get, as when he’s healthy there is no better defensive outfielder in the league. Sadly, his plantar fasciitis has kept him sidelined since end of June, and we won’t see him until early next month at the soonest.
So, Cashman’s decision to dump Monty for an injured player that won’t really contribute until October most likely, does loom large. Montgomery being able to put together quality start after start with the Red Birds has put even more pressure on Bader returning fit and with a fire lit inside him.
Seeing that the Yankees truly value Judge in RF more — as they should, the metrics all support it — has led to the FO wanting to play Hicks in CF more, which has been truly painful. Simply put, he cannot play that position, nor can he swing a baseball bat for that matter.
Having a healthy Bader in this lineup will improve it tenfold, even if it means we have to wait a few more weeks until we get our first taste of what it will be like. It is way too early to write this deal off, but as happy as I am seeing Monty excel elsewhere (a la Joey Gallo), I would be even happier seeing him do it in Pinstripes.