Cubs lefty Mike Montgomery (lat) made his third minor league rehab start yesterday, this time with the AAA Iowa Cubs, and lasting 68 pitches.
Final line on Montgomery — 4.0 IP, 2H, 2ER, 2BB, 5K pic.twitter.com/RJcOC28VCk
— IowaCubsGameDay (@IowaCubsGameDay) April 28, 2019
It’s still not entirely clear what role the Cubs are preparing Montgomery for upon his return, as there is no opening in the rotation, and Tyler Chatwood could conceivably serve as the sixth starter. For now, I expect the Cubs are just gearing Montgomery up “just in case,” and when it’s time for him to return to the big team, if there’s not an obvious spot for a start, he’ll head back into the bullpen to serve as a lefty/long man.
How long could that be? Well, strictly speaking, a big league pitcher can go out on a minor league rehab stint for up to 30 days. It’s only been about two weeks, so, theoretically, the Cubs could keep Montgomery in a rehab holding pattern for quite a while yet. That said, unless there’s a clear reason that a pitcher needs the work to get healthy, teams tend not to be TOO egregiously abusive of the minor league rehab rules.
For now, we’ll see if another rehab outing is scheduled, or if the Cubs start making plans for his return this week. Although he hasn’t had a ton of success the last year and change out of the bullpen, he’s been a very good starter with the Cubs. I don’t expect there are plans to go with a six-man rotation any time soon (Joe Maddon scuttled the idea with respect to Tyler Chatwood), but you do kind of which Montgomery could get some starts in this year at some point. You know, but, uh, without someone else getting hurt.