Call me crazy, but I see someone who will be the next big lefty in the Yankee rotation for the foreseeable future. Jordan Montgomery has impressed me from his first start as a Yankee. He initially caught my attention not because he threw blistering fastballs, but because he showed so much poise and mound presence for a twenty four year old rookie. Yesterday he showed the Yankee brass that he can be trusted in this post season. He dazzled the visiting Orioles and their dangerous right handed batting order. Mixing in an array of fastballs, sharp sliders, nice breaking curves and change-ups that had some nasty fade and drop. His command of all his pitches was outstanding. His six foot six 225 pound frame gives him great downward plane and deception in his delivery .
His only flaw is not being able to go deep in a game as he has averaged five and a half innings per game in twenty seven starts. I expect that to slowly change as he continues to grow as a big league pitcher. Lets face it, today we all know that In baseball, a quality start is a statistic for a starting pitcher defined as a game in which the pitcher completes at least six innings and permits no more than three earned runs. He’s almost there.
As CC Sabathia winds down his career, do we see the next big lefty emerging? The list of Yankee lefty greats over the past sixty years is intimidating to say the least. Ron Guidry, Andy Pettitte, David Wells, Dave Righetti and Whitey Ford. I am not predicting anything near being on a level with those guys. Oh my no! Not a chance. As good as I believe he can be, pitching is so different in the big leagues today compared to yester-year. Imagine telling any of those lefties that they were only needed for six innings. Yikes!
The future looks bright for this kid but lets not get the anointing oil out yet. We are all aware of the debacle that happened in Queens over the past two seasons. Watching brilliant young pitchers go down one after another. But I just have this feeling that Montgomery will not fall prey to that scenario. I don’t know, maybe it’s just putting on those pinstripes that turns an ordinary player into a star? This kid’s star is rising. He could see some action in the playoffs this year if the Yankees can get past the wild card. Or if the impossible happens and they catch the Red Sox in the next two weeks. I expect to see him win some important games for the Yankees in the next few years, maybe even in the playoffs.