After New York Yankees and all-time great closer Mariano Rivera retired, the future of the team’s bullpen has been widely discussed. The plan is to go with David Robertson full-time, while some people suggested the Yankees should have looked for a closer on the open market. Passing on Grant Balfour and Fernando Rodney, the Yankees have kept that part of the team in-house.
When looking past Robertson into the next generation of relievers and closers for New York, Mark Montgomery‘s name has to come up. Just 22-years old, Montgomery has already had great success in the lower-level minor leagues in being a closer. He recorded 30 combined saves in his first two years in the farm system and kept his ERA under 2.00. Numbers like those are something to marvel at.
In 2013, Montgomery did not get an opportunity to save games, but still managed to post a respectable 3.38 ERA while pitching for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His time at triple-A this season is going to determine whether or not he is ready for a major league call up in September or whether he can possibly start the year with the team in 2015.
His time at Spring Training as a non-roster invitee will help him learn what New York is expecting from him. He should not be converted into a starter and be toyed with the way Joba Chamberlain was during his time with the Yankees. New York needs to keep him in one role, and that is the closer role.
Get ready to see Montgomery tackle some of the later innings during his time with the Yankees.