by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Maybe it shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but on Friday Erik Boland of Newsday tweeted:
Boone made official what’s been assumed since the start of camp: Montgomery is the fifth starter
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) March 9, 2018
It wasn’t the worst kept secret, but as Boland stated it has always been assumed after the Yankees failed to add a starter this winter (they did bring back CC Sabathia, but that’s it). Montgomery earned the job after impressing last season, as he’s coming off a year where he posted a 3.88 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over 155.1 innings in the Majors. Those numbers alone are impressive, but he combined it with both strikeouts (8.34 K/9) and control (2.95 BB/9).
Now the question is, can he not only replicate those numbers but improve upon them?
We’ve already taken a look at Montgomery in mid-January, so let’s re-publish those thoughts (with minor adjustments) here as the outlook hasn’t changed based on this news:
On the surface he appears to be strong in two of the three skills we look for (with the exception being his 40.7% groundball rate), though a decline in his SwStr% and O-Swing% as the season progress is a concern:
Half of Season
Was the regression due to fatigue or was it due to the league adjusting to him? That remains to be seen, but it’s easy to envision him struggling in both departments in 2018. Maybe it’s not a big drop-off, but the concerns with the long ball make things look that much worse. As it is he posted a poor groundball rate, but consider this split:
- Home – 7 HR
- Road – 14 HR
With the potential to allow more home runs, especially at home, coupled with the other skills (most importantly the potential decline in his strikeout rate) and the potential to lose his role in the rotation Montgomery isn’t going to be a trustworthy option heading into 2018.
Source – Fangraphs
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|Starting Pitchers||1-20: 02/20/18|