To say the New York Yankees have been hit hard by injuries this season is a bit of an understatement. Before the Yankees started playing games that counted the Yankees were without Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Michael Pineda. Since the season has started they have added Joba Chamberlain, Ivan Nova, Francisco Cervelli and Kevin Youkilis and Eduardo Nunez and David Robertson also might be headed to the disabled list as well. If Robertson is out for an extended period the Yankees will be forced to bring up Mark Montgomery to help bridge the gap between starter and Mariano Rivera.
The Yankees 40-man roster, especially in the pitching department, is being stretched thin. Most of the arms in the system on the 40-man roster are starters. Guys like Nik Turley, Jose Ramirez, Dellin Betances, Francisco Rondon and Brett Marshall are all starters. Montgomery, at the current moment, is not on the 40-man roster but the Yankees could easily add him to the roster by potentially dropping Melky Mesa or Ben Francisco.
Montgomery has been very good with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre so far. In eight games and 13.1 innings Montgomery has a 1-1 record, 2.03 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and has struck out 20 batters while walking five. Montgomery relies on his slider as his strikeout pitch and it is the best slider in the Yankees’ farm system. He has the potential to be the closer of the future for the Yankees with a 92-95 MPH fastball and a devastating slider.
The Yankees bullpen could use a little help given all of the injuries that have hit it in recent weeks. Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren are two starters who are currently filling roles in the big league bullpen. Montgomery, however, is a certified reliever and could potentially have a major impact for the Yankees this season much the same way Chamberlain did in 2007 when he made his MLB debut.
The Yankees should call up Montgomery now and fortify their bullpen while also giving the 22-year-old pitcher a taste of the Major Leagues. At the rate the Yankees are losing players to injury Montgomery is almost certain to make his debut this year. Preston Claiborne, another intriguing relief prospect, already made his debut this week and fared very well. It won’t be long until Montgomery is given the same chance.