Chicago Cubs: Mike Montgomery seeks consistency more than anything

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
CHicago Cubs
CINCINNATI, OH – JUNE 30: Mike Montgomery #38 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the second inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on June 30, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Which role is better? Depends who you’re asking

At first glance, one might assume he was overall better as a reliever. And, in a sense, that’s true. His earned run average was more than 1.5 runs lower (2.49) as a reliever than as a starter (4.15). But if you look more closely, that’s not as clear-cut as you might think.

More from Cubbies Crib

As a starter, his K/9, strikeout-to-walk ratio and WHIP were actually better than when he came in out of the pen. The K/BB ratio, especially, was a pretty drastic difference (1.29 out of relief as opposed to 2.67 as a starter). Really, he just got beat via the base hit. Which, yes, is probably oversimplifying his performance, but it’s what the numbers indicate.

What do you think?

Let’s dig a little deeper.

When you take in Montgomery’s splits, there are a few other things that jump out. With runners in scoring position, he held opponents to a minuscule .181 average (across 132 plate appearances). But he struck out 19 batters in these situations, walking 22. That’s a problem.

As a starter, getting through the order a second time through became an issue in 2017. First time around, the lefty limited hitters to a .488 OPS. You’ll take that any day of the week. But once the order turned over, opponents’ OPS jumped to .813.