Coming into spring training, Mike Montgomery wanted to be a member of the Chicago Cubs starting rotation. He didn’t get his wish, but it appears he’s trying to earn it.
Going into the 2017-18 offseason Mike Montgomery was slated to be the Chicago Cubs rotation as the fifth, but then the front office went out and signed Tyler Chatwood to a 3-year contract worth $38 million.
Sadly Chatwood has been awful, and I mean really awful, and that might still be an understatement. Despite a somewhat respectable 3-4 record with a decent 4.10 ERA, but that’s where the good ends.
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Struggling to find the cause
The most obvious issue for Chatwood is the fact that he can’t control where the baseball is going to go when he throws the ball.
In just 48 1/3 innings Chatwood has issued an MLB worst 45 free passes.
It’s still early. Chatwood has only made starts, but if he continues to struggle with his control, he is headed for disaster.
What do I want the Cubs to do
If it were up to me, I would demote Chatwood to the bullpen. Chatwood has been given ten chances to try and figure out his control issues, and he hasn’t been able to do it.
Go to Mike Montgomery
I think Mike Montgomery deserves to get consistent starts in the rotation. “Monty” made his first start in place of the injured Yu Darvish on the 28th of May, and was absolutely fantastic. Montgomery issued just two hits while striking out five in 5.2 masterful innings, and he only needed to use just 75 pitches to get the job done.
Okay, it was just one start, but he’s been great out of the bullpen in 2018 as well. As well throughout his entire tenure with Cubs.
What will the Cubs do
To be 100%, the Cubs are likely going to stick with Chatwood for two reasons.
You don’t pay $38 million for a long man out of the bullpen, and the members of the front office are too much pride to admit they signed a bust, so they try help Chatwood figure things out.
The second reason is that coaching staff have made it known that they feel like Montgomery is at his best when he’s coming out of the bullpen because of his versatility.
In truth I see the Cubs skipping Chatwood at least once to give him time to work out his colossal control issues.
Montgomery has made it clear from the start of spring training that he would like to be given a chance to start, and his body of work of the past two seasons has earned the opportunity to start.