There was a day off yesterday, but the Chicago Cubs are back at it today.
They’ll be taking on the Seattle Mariners at Sloan, with a lineup full of regulars and a starting pitcher who’s maybe-sorta fighting for a spot in the rotation. So these are basically the Cubs.
Although we know Mike Montgomery is definitely going to get some starts this year, we haven’t really determined just how many that will be.
And given the relative healthy (knock-on-wood) start for Brett Anderson so far, Montgomery may actually kick off 2017 in the bullpen.
Alternatively, manager Joe Maddon could look to go with a six-man rotation right out of the gate, which would alleviate some of the concern for overworking Anderson while helping Montgomery ramp up (slowly) to a higher overall inning total in 2017.
But that brings me to a totally different point.
If the Cubs do make the postseason again in 2017 as expected, Montgomery may not be in the front four of the rotation – meaning he’d most likely be a reliever in the playoffs. And while I’m sure he can transition back into the bullpen like many starting pitchers do every October, I wonder what a sharp innings increase in the regular season (he was at just 100.0 innings last year) will do to his arm.
Given how critical he was to the 2016 postseason bullpen, it’ll be interesting to see how the team manages his innings throughout the year.
Today’s game will not be broadcast by either team, but the Cubs-based audio will be available at MLB.com. For future reference, you can check which games will be televised here.
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jon Jay CF
- Matt Szczur, DH
Starting Pitcher: Mike Montgomery