Yankees rotation shakeup imminent? Please, hold on, not so fast

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /

Back in March, Yankees manager, Joe Girardi took a particular liking to a tall lefty with an over the top delivery and a wealth of presence on the mound. He liked him so much that he installed him as the fifth starter. Now, Girardi faces reports that he’ll need to trade the southpaw for another starter. Don’t think so.

In a word, Yankees starting pitcher, Jordan Montgomery, in seven starts this season, has been adequate. He hasn’t particularly hurt the Yankees, but he hasn’t helped them either. And because of that, reports are circulating indicating that Girardi is on the precipice of making a change in the rotation that could come about as soon as Tuesday when the team returns home to face the Royals again.

Montgomery’s performance last night in a 5-1 loss to the Royals may have sealed his fate, but a quick glance at his overall record this season indicates that maybe he needs more time to refine his skills as a pitcher in the minors before he’s truly ready to pitch at this level.

In seven starts, he’s gone 2-3 with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Eighteen walks in 39 innings don’t make things look better either. In fact, it was walking batters that got him trouble last night as all three of his walks came around to score.

Video courtesy of the YES Network

The Yankees way of late has been to make as few changes as possible

Normally, the Yankees offense would have been in its usual high gear and scoring six runs for a win would be easy. But the team ran into a buzz saw last night facing Danny Duffy and for the first time this season; the team appeared to be flat and not ready to play.

But that’s another problem for Girardi to deal with if it continues tonight in Tampa.

Upsetting the applecart

Back to Montgomery. Girardi has a ready-made starter already on the team, and that’s Chad Green, who has been serving well in a relief role since he was promoted to the Bronx. In 7.2 innings, Green has allowed only three hits and only one walk, while striking out an impressive eleven batters.

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So, it wouldn’t be a leap for Girardi to reach for him as a replacement for Montgomery in the rotation. But making that move to fill one hole creates another hole in the bullpen that needs to be filled.

And it’s not just a matter of the two pitchers trading roles for a while because Montgomery is not likely to be as flexible as Green in making the transition to the bullpen.

Plus, it would mean that Girardi would need to shut Green down for the upcoming series against Tampa Bay so he can prep himself for his new role as a starter. These things can get complicated.

Or, Girardi could go in an entirely different direction which would be to not touch Green at all by turning to Chance Adams, who is still lighting it up in the minors. Or, if he wanted to trade lefty for a lefty, he could turn to Justus Sheffield.

Yankees modus operandi remains in place

Moves like these, though, would probably need the stamp of approval from Brian Cashman because it would upset Cashman’s insistence that he wants his young pitchers to have a full season in the minors as a way to facilitate their growth.

Understand, this is not Girardi operating in a panic mode. Because as I stated at the outset, Montgomery has been adequate and Girardi could easily decide to stay with him, at least for a few more starts.

Especially since the Yankees, operating on a regular night, have the ability to score five runs before they even get out of bed in the morning.

The Yankees way of late has been to make as few changes as possible. It’s a plan that’s worked out pretty good so far in this season. And that’s why I think the Yankees stand pat on this one too.