Chicago Cubs: Does Mike Montgomery become a trade chip this winter?

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

With a plethora of starting pitching options in the mix, the Chicago Cubs may very well give Mike Montgomery what he wants – a full-time starting gig.

Where would the Chicago Cubs be without the contributions of Mike Montgomery? With Yu Darvish still sidelined, the left-hander continues to fill a spot in the rotation. Thursday marks his 12th start in lieu of the team’s injured ace – and he’s done nothing but hold his own.

Montgomery carries a 3.50 ERA as a starter – a stark contrast from a 5.33 clip out of the pen. His strikeout-to-walk ratio and opponent batting average both compare favorably in this regard, as well. As many headlines as the Cubs’ rotation has garnered this season, somehow the work of Monty continues to go largely unnoticed.

This season, Montgomery has focused on incremental improvements and taking care of himself. As he approaches a career-high in innings pitched, his health looms as a big concern in the final two months.

"“I learned my lesson each year. I might have been distracted. I didn’t have the role I maybe wanted and it affected my pitching negatively. I realize whether it’s tweaking a few pitches here and there, and making sure I’m physically better, that’s what my focus is right now.”"

Last offseason, Montgomery pushed for a more defined role on the Cubs staff. But, ultimately, a view that placed winning above personal preference prevailed. He opened the year in the Chicago bullpen. But, by the end of May, he assumed Darvish’s spot in the starting rotation.