Chicago Cubs: Montgomery wants to win more than he wants to start

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 06: Mike Montgomery
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 06: Mike Montgomery /

While the Chicago Cubs’ Mike Montgomery rubbed people the wrong way earlier this winter, he just wants to win. Even more so than being a starter.

When the Chicago CubsMike Montgomery came out and said he wanted to start or be somewhere that he’d be able to–Cubs’ fans didn’t like that. But it wasn’t as black and white as it seemed. And for Montgomery, he wants to win with Chicago more than he wants to start anywhere else.

For a player in his role, things are never easy. You might have to come out and start the backend of a doubleheader. Then come out of the bullpen for three to four outs two days later. That’s taxing on the ballplayer, as well as his psyche. But Montgomery was able to push through and get some of the big outs the Cubs needed him to get.

Team first is a plus

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Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon is already a fan of his “team-first” perspective, and it’s why he fully understands why he wants to be a starter or go elsewhere.

"“Guys in his situation, it’s not easy,” Maddon said. “A lot of times guys like that would want to go somewhere else badly or would not be as willing or accepting of their role.” h/t Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times"

Rubbing fans the wrong way

When Montgomery made the comments early in the offseason, Cubs’ fans were less than thrilled. I saw everything from “he’s lucky to be here” to “release him already.” Neither of which would be correct, but I digress. Montgomery was a critical piece to the 2016 team and will continue to be one this season.

"“It wasn’t like, ‘Hey, make me a starter or I get traded,’ ” he said Wednesday, the first official day of spring training. “It wasn’t that black and white. ‘Hey, I want to be a starter.’“People can take it however they want to take it. It’s no big deal. I think it’s obvious I want to do that, and I think it’s just a matter of time and place and situation.”"

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Montgomery’s role is “to be determined.” While he’ll see a lot of work out of the bullpen, they’ll be spot starts as well. And with the way Maddon works his pen over, it wouldn’t be terrible to see Montgomery be the sixth starter. Instead of the case where the bullpen is overworked and we say, “we need seven innings from this guy.” How about have Monty be the extra guy?