Yankees: Montgomery has a chance to step up and move up

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

The Yankees will send their promising rookie left-hander, Jordan Montgomery, to the hill to face the Oakland A’s tonight as the team tries to halt a modest two-game skid. This would be the perfect time for Montgomery to make a statement about his future with the team and as a replacement for Sabathia.

The Yankees consecutive losses to the Angels after winning the first game of the series is hardly a cause for alarm. But still, the team wants to keep the cork in the bottle. Jordan Montgomery has a perfect opportunity to do that tonight as the team’s stopper when he makes a start against Sonny Gray in Oakland.

Moreover, he has a chance to make a statement to the Yankees by making a claim to spot in the rotation vacated by CC Sabathia‘s loss due to a hamstring injury for the next four to six weeks.

Montgomery has already made a case for himself as a permanent starter in the rotation. From the time that Joe Girardi anointed him as the fifth starter among many choices back in the Spring, Montgomery has answered the call. But his future with the Yankees doesn’t necessarily call for him to be that fifth guy.

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Montgomery had a rough month in May and at one point took four defeats in a row. But of note, the Yankees scored a total of only eight runs over those four starts.

His last two starts in June show a pitcher coming into his own as a dominant over-the-top lefty with a downward plane that reminds (yes) of Andy Pettitte. Pettitte or not, though, the opportunity presented to Montgomery tonight could take him a long way with a team that will, at some point in the future lose Sabathia forever.

A rotation overhaul in the making

Sabathia’s had been placed in the #2 slot by Girardi creating a balance of a lefty to follow Masahiro Tanaka, and then two righties, Michael Pineda and Luis Severino, and finally Montgomery as another lefty.

Bryan Mitchell, Chance Adams, and Chad Green are among the internal candidates who can fill Sabathia’s role, but not necessarily his position in the rotation since all of them are righties. Jordan Montgomery can fill the void, but to do that, he needs to pitch like he has been of late with successive wins over Toronto and Baltimore.

Sonny Gray, the A’s starter, is no pushover. But neither is he showing himself to be the marquee pitcher that teams will be drooling over as the trade deadline nears. The 27-year old righthander lost time with an injury and since then is only 2-2 with a 4.71 ERA.

At some point this weekend, the Yankees bats should explode again. This afternoon, the A’s announced that they have fired their pitching coach, Curt Young, which speaks for itself as to what the Yankees can expect pitching-wise for the remainder of the series once they get by Gray.

Take it away Jordan…..

With the pitching depth that the Yankees have in their organization, along with depth on their 25-man roster when it comes to looking for legitimate starting pitchers (and by the way, we haven’t even mentioned Adam Warren), the team is by no means in a panic mode with Sabathia sidelined.

Just the same, though, it would be refreshing and reassuring if Jordan Montgomery can deliver the kind of start tonight that solidifies, not only his role as a permanent player in the rotation but a step up to the number two slot.