TAMPA – Jordan Montgomery sees himself back at Yankee Stadium in four months. The 26-year-old lefty is coming off Tommy John surgery in May and said Wednesday that after a setback free rehab so far, he expects to be back “at the All-Star break.”
“I don’t know what I will be doing. Whatever they need me to do,” Montgomery said Wednesday at the first official day of pitchers and catchers at the George M. Steinbrenner Field. “But in four months, when I am done with my rehab starts, hopefully I am there.”
Montgomery said Wednesday he has progressed to throwing on flat ground at 90 feet as he works to rebuild the strength in his shoulder and increase the flexibility in the surgically-repaired elbow. The rehab process from Tommy John is usually a 12-to-13 month process and includes incremental increases in distance and workload in long toss before returning to the mound. The last long-toss step is usually 120 feet, which would be the next progression for Montgomery. He said he believes he will be on a mound before the end of spring training.
The Yankees have reloaded their rotation with the addition of James Paxton, along with bringing back J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia. But the addition of Montgomery in the second half is tantalizing.
In 2017, he had a breakout rookie year, posting a 3.88 ERA and 1.230 WHIP over 29 starts. He struck out 144 over 155.1 innings pitched and walked just 51.
He made just six starts in 2018 before being diagnosed with the torn ulnar collateral ligament, requiring elbow surgery. After the May surgery, Montgomery said he had just one day of discomfort, which he described as normal, “general soreness,” but has worked without issue since.
It’s a tedious process, but Montgomery has a plan for the next four months.
“It sucks, you kind of got to get over yourself,” Montgomery said. “Four more months to get as strong as I can and work on anything I want to. I can work on my mechanics, get those cleaned out, get my legs stronger, get in better shape and come back a whole new pitcher is the plan.”