As we tea-leafed from the potential Luke Farrell call-up, today the Cubs confirmed that lefty Mike Montgomery will move into the rotation to take the start that opened up with Yu Darvish going to the disabled list.
Updated #Cubs vs Pirates:
Mon: Mike Montgomery (0-1, 5.33) vs Chad Kuhl (4-2, 4.20)
Tue: Jon Lester (4-2, 2.37) vs Ivan Nova (2-5, 4.96)
Wed: Kyle Hendricks (4-3, 3.16) vs Joe Musgrove (1-0, 0.00)
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 27, 2018
Montgomery, 28, made 14 mostly effective (though generally short) starts for the Cubs last year, and is unquestionably the best option to take a fill-in start if he’s feeling appropriately ready to do so. He pitched 2.1 innings (59 pitches) in his last appearance on Tuesday in cleanup work against the Indians, and could be stretched out enough to give the Cubs 70 to 80 pitches if he lasts that long.
My assumption is that the Cubs will stand ready for him to throw twice through the order, and then turn it over to the bullpen, preferably a long-man for the next time through the order (Luke Farrell? Piggyback code name: Like Fartgomery).
Yu Darvish could mathematically miss only one start, if the Cubs keep everyone on regular rest and Darvish is ready to come off the DL on June 2, but as we discussed this morning after word of him getting an MRI, I’m bracing myself for a multi-start absence. If that’s the case, Montgomery will get a chance to lock himself into the rotation for a little while.
And he can be effective! We’ve seen him do it before. Maybe he won’t be as dominant as peak Darvish could be, but the drop-off from what the Cubs were currently getting is probably not going to be that steep.
Montgomery has long wanted another chance to start, so here it comes.