Another day, another intrasquad game for the Yanks. As I noted earlier, we’re somehow just two weeks away from Opening Day. It’s all happening so fast. The Yanks already announced their “lineups” for the night, and they’re actually different than when I wrote earlier that we’ve seen the same lineup every time:
The big difference is obviously that Sánchez is hitting with the B-squad while Kyle Higashioka hits with the A-team. Rosell Herrera, a darling of a Spring Training that feels like it happened a century ago, is also subbing for Tyler Wade at 2B. A lineup we’ll probably see pretty early on in the season, in other words. There continue to be few surprises here. (And, yes, obviously there are two DHs. But none of this matters.)
The Big Story: Jordan Montgomery Takes the Hill
Yes, yes, I know. Everyone wants to hear about Deivi García. I understand why. He’s the prospect darling of Yankee fandom, after all. I get it. But I don’t think he has much more than an outside chance at meaningful innings at this point – I’d love for him to prove me wrong, though – so as much as I want to see him, I’m more interested in Jordan Montgomery tonight. He’s going to be in the rotation if he’s healthy, and he’s pretty interesting at this point.
Like Miguel Andújar yesterday, I think people forget how good Montgomery was in his rookie year. (Granted, that was 2017, but still.) He was the best rookie pitcher in baseball, believe it or not. He’s a five-pitch pitcher (FB/SNK/CU/CH/SL) who, in theory, would have a tough time rebounding from Tommy John given his low velocity. Then, Spring Training happened.
The guy was an absolute stud, racking up 16 strikeouts, 1 walk, and just 7 hits allowed in his 11 innings of work. That’s cool, but it’s Spring Training, right? Underneath all of that success, though, was an uptick in velocity. Reports were that Monty was hitting 94 on the gun, which is a pretty significant uptick for a guy who averaged less than 92 mph on his fastball from 2017-19.
There is some evidence that Tommy John surgery can “improve” velocity by repairing ligaments that were damaged even before the injury was known – therefore reducing velocity inadvertently – and maybe that’s what happened here. We don’t get a gun on the broadcast, unfortunately, so we’ll have to wait to hear what the team says. Still, Montgomery was looking really, really good earlier this year and I’m excited to check him out tonight. Let’s hope he looks as good as he did in March. That’d be nice.
It’s a quiet day today so far. They’ll probably have some sort of press availability after the intrasquad game, so we’ll update this with anything relevant after that. Until then:
- Tomorrow’s Schedule: Aaron Boone expects tomorrow to be an off-day given some expected bad weather. (Bryan Hoch) It’s supposed to be bad all weekend, which is unfortunate because I am looking forward to seeing Jonathan Loaísiga pitch on Saturday.
- CC Sabathia, GOAT: As I’m sure everyone around here knows, CC Sabathia absolutely rules. Retirement has not made this any less true, as is obvious from this great story with the big fella by Lindsey Adler (subs req’d).
- Dellin Betances, Met: File this one under “things you just absolutely hate to see.” Dellin Betances is a Met, and he just looks wrong in that blue and orange. It’s not right and it will never sit right with me. Dellin was an all-time favorite – even more than Didi, who ruled – and it sucks to see him gone. It also sucks that he’s apparently only throwing 93 mph, but he’s always a slow starter with velocity. I hope he regains it. Good Dellin is as fun to watch as anyone, and I’ll be rooting for him even if he’s in the wrong borough.
- 2021 Schedule (lol): Folks, we have a 2021 MLB already. Opening Day 2021 will be April 1 at home against the Blue Jays. There’s a long way between now and then, so I’m not going to spill any additional ink on it. Check out the full thing here if you’re so inclined.
First “pitch” is set for 6 pm. It’s really nice to have some YES on at night as work winds down again, isn’t it? How I’ve missed it. Enjoy the “game”, everyone.