Mark Montgomery’s rise to the Bronx has hit another speed bump. Matt Kardos, the Trenton Thunder beat writer is reporting that the Yankees’ pitching prospect has been sent from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to the Double-A Trenton Thunder. Graham Stoneburner was released from the Thunder to make room for Montgomery’s arrival.
Montgomery was expected to compete for a bullpen spot with the Yankees at some point this season. The 23-year-old righty was drafted in the 11th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft. He tore it up as a closer and middle reliever in Low-A for the first half of his minor league career. His 2012 debut with the Trenton Thunder at just 21 years of age left the Yankees with much hope that Montgomery would soon be in the bigs. He finished that season at 7-2 with a 1.54 ERA, 15 saves, and 99 strikeouts in just 64.1 innings between Tampa and Trenton.
In 2013 he was promoted to the RailRiders, and he has not yet lived up to those high expectations he set. He has shown issues with control and has been struggling with a high walk ratio. Montgomery is 1-1 in 2014 with a 3.03 ERA and two saves, so at the onset, it doesn’t seem so bad. He has 34 strikeouts over his 29.2 innings but he has 18 walks. That’s nearly six walks per nine innings. Throw in a 1.32 WHIP, and you can see where the Yankees may feel he needs to work on getting his groove back.
Stoneburner was a 26-year-old righty who has spent the last six seasons at every stop in the Yankees farm system. He did well in three appearances with the RailRiders this year, however the wheels came off in Trenton. He let up 21 runs over his last four startsm and had a 2-4 record with a 7.04 ERA.