New York Yankees 2020 Projections: Jordan Montgomery

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 1: Jordan Montgomery #47 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Yankee Stadium on October 1, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 1: Jordan Montgomery #47 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Yankee Stadium on October 1, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /
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Jordan Montgomery’s return to the Yankees in 2020 will be important

During his rookie season in 2017, Jordan Montgomery was a pleasant surprise to the Yankees pitching staff. He was looking to build on that success and have an even better 2018, but a season-ending Tommy John surgery put those plans to bed. The Yankees needed Montgomery last year, but thanks to a series of events he had to wait until this season to get back into the groove. Montgomery hasn’t pitched since 2018, and his past success should put him in consideration for that fifth spot in the rotation.

During Montgomery’s first season in MLB, he made 29 starts, went 9-7, a 3.88 ERA, in 155 innings pitched, and 144 strikeouts. Not bad for his first taste of the big leagues. However, he did struggle at times during 2017. He gave 140 hits, 21 home runs, and 51 walks. Those aren’t terrible numbers as they are an excellent foundation to build on future success for Montgomery.

Montgomery went into Spring Training looking to earn that last spot in the rotation and didn’t pitch that well. However, you have to take into consideration that Montgomery hadn’t pitched since early 2018. Before the season was on hold due to the coronavirus, Montgomery pitched in 4 games, went 0-1, a 4.09 ERA, giving up seven hits, five runs, and four home runs in 11 innings. It is still going to take some time for Montgomery to get back into game shape, especially if he’s going to earn a spot in the rotation.

I think that Montgomery probably won’t make the roster, and he will likely find himself in Triple-A until he is ready. He is a talented pitcher that if he can work on his mechanics, he should get back into his 2017 form. As long as he can contribute at least 8-9 wins and an ERA below 4, then the Yankees will get more from him than they expected.