Friday, February 7, 2020


James Paxton is expected to be out for at least three months after back surgery, so who does that leave to take over the Yankees' fifth spot in the starting rotation? With JA Happ most likely taking spot #4, that leaves Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Cessa, Michael King and Deivi Garcia to fight over spot #5.

In his first 35 Major League starts, Montgomery pitched a 3.84 ERA. In 2018, he underwent Tommy John surgery after finishing 6th place in the previous season's AL Rookie of the Year Award vote.

Loaisiga has allowed 30 earned runs in 56 innings (4.79 ERA). He also appeared in four postseason games last season and allowed two runs.

Cessa has 86 MLB appearances and as a starter, 19 games, has a 4.93 ERA. He has been aboard the Scranton Shuttle for most of the past few years and has been nothing more than a fill-in starter.

Out of all of the options, Montgomery is the favorite.

“He has good stuff, he battles out there and attacks the strike zone,’’ an NL scout said of Montgomery. “Pre-surgery he and King had the best command. They throw a lot of strikes.’’

Not only is he the favorite, he has more starting experience than the others combined. Aaron Boone did not say he had a leading candidate, however spoke highly about Montgomery. 

I think he has proven himself at this level. For him to get back last year was big, just for his frame of mind,’’ Boone said. “The fact he was able to make it back and get some work done, get into some games, I think was big for him and his mindset moving forward.’’

The true test will be during Spring Training on who will get the starting position. Luckily we don't have much longer to wait until we find out!

--Missy O'Rourke
BYB Contributor
Twitter: @missy_orourke

1 comment:

  1. Yankees still need to throw a bullpen game ever so often. This will help keep Tanaka fresh and Happ down on a vesting option.
    If Montgomery can get his curveball back to rookie year and still throws 92 mph fastball he will do great.


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