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Series Preview: New York Yankees vs New York Mets (7/20-7/22)

The Yankees enter the second half of the season with a 62-33 record, which has them slotted in second place in the AL East behind the Boston Red Sox who are currently 4.5 games ahead with a 68-30 record to this point in the season. Following last year’s close encounter with the Minnesota Twins in the AL Wild Card game, the Yankees should definitely do their best to avoid the one game nightmare in this second half. The Yankees will begin this quest with a three game set against New York’s inferior team, the New York Mets. The Mets are currently sitting at the bottom of the NL East with a 39-55 record and the Yankees won two of the three meetings between the teams this season, signs which should indicate a Yankees’ series win. However, unfavorable pitching matchups could derail the Bronx Bombers in this Subway Series.

With six starting pitchers on the roster, Jordan Montgomery has become the odd man out

As the dust settles from the trade deadline, the Yankees are left with a great problem to have, a wealth of starting pitchers. The only downside to this is that there is going to be an odd man out. That man looks to be Jordan Montgomery.
Photo Credit: Kathy Willens | AP

Montgomery, has shown some real flashes of excellence in his rookie year. Through 20 starts, he is posting a 4.15 ERA, but that doesn’t completely tell the full story. Outside of his last start, he has gone deep into games in over half of his starts, as well as allowing three or fewer earned runs 15 times, tossing a couple seven inning gems too. He was also the guy who helped the Yankees stay afloat while going through their rough stretch in June and has pitched well enough to even get his name in the mix for rookie of the year. Being that it is his rookie year, and many pitchers struggle out the gate at the next level, you really couldn’t ask more out of a guy than Montgomery has given.

He has also taken all the deadline news in stride. When asked about possibly losing his roster spot due to the acquisitions of Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia, he responded “I’ll do whatever they tell me to do” and then followed up with “not really” when asked if he would be disappointed about being removed from the rotation (nydailynews.com). That sense of “team” might be something that you can coach someone up on, but often you can see right through it when the player is coached up. You can tell the sincerity of Montgomery when he speaks on the subject.  

Moving forward, Montgomery will likely either find himself back in Triple-A or sent to the bullpen as a long reliever. Personally, I don’t have an issue with either. He was likely going to have an innings limit this year, being that he hadn’t pitched over 140 innings thus far in his career, so somewhat taking that issue off the table is a nice. If he does end up going back down to Triple-A it will provide him a great opportunity to fine tune some of his pitches and work on location, something that hasn’t always been locked in for him this year. If he goes to the bullpen, it gives the Yankees a great lefty arm to pick up the pieces of a rough start, perhaps a less than great CC Sabathia or Masahiro Tanaka start.

At the end of the day, I think either move works for the Yankees. It doesn’t seem like either move will affect the psych of the young lefty, which is great considering he will be a key part of the Yankees rotation of the future. With Sabathia and Michael Pineda more than likely done in pinstripes after this year, the Yankees will need to backfill the rotation and having a young, tested arm to fill the holes is exactly what you want. A future rotation of Luis Severino, Montgomery, Tanaka and Gray seems to have set the Yankees up for success. So while it may be sad to see Montgomery go, it’s nice to know that he will be back and will be a part of the Yankees future success.

Article by: AJ Welch