There’s always been some sort of intrigue with Mike Montgomery, so a return to the rotation is likely going to pique the interest of many fantasy owners. That opportunity comes thanks to his trade to Kansas City (the Cubs swapped him for Martin Maldonado), so let’s take a look and see if the upside is there or not.
This season Montgomery has spent the year coming out of the bullpen, so we can’t fully draw conclusions from the numbers (5.67 ERA, 1.78 WHIP over 27.0 IP). That said they are ugly and bring about significant questions in all three skills we look for:
Strikeouts – Even working in a shorter stint he’s failed to generate many swings and misses (8.4% SwStr%). Over the course of his career he owns a 9.4% SwStr%, which has led to a 6.87 K/9. Moving back to the American League there could be further regression.
Control – While he threw strikes in ’18 (2.87 BB/9), he’s up to a 4.33 BB/9 this season and owns a 3.47 career mark. It’s a pedestrian number and one that doesn’t help his case.
Groundballs – This was once the strongest skill (53.9% for his career), but he’s down to 43.3% this season. He’s virtually ditched his cut-fastball this season, a pitch that has previously generated a lot of groundballs, and maybe a move back to the rotation will bring that pitch back into the mix. Is that enough, though?
So while there’s been hype in the past, is there any reason to buy into a pitcher with seemingly mediocre skills who is moving to the American League for a team that could find it hard to win games? Outside of AL-Only formats, that’s a tough sell.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball