Chicago Cubs: Mike Montgomery looking to build on 2018
Montgomery pitched well enough as a starter the last couple of seasons to warrant a starting job in the Majors. But, as a Cub, I think he is too valuable for Chicago to begin the season with him in the rotation. As the last two seasons have shown, the Cubs need starting pitching depth.
There are a lot of factors at play here. Yu Darvish is coming off an injury plagued first season on the North Side. Jon Lester enters 2019 another year older. So, in all honesty, whoever grabs that fifth starting spot becomes critical. Even the ‘young’ starters, Jose Quintana and Kyle Hendricks, could wind up hurt.
With this in mind, Mike Montgomery isn’t most valuable as your fifth starter. Rather, he should slide into the same role he began last year in – a sixth starter and swing man. An insurance policy, if you will.
In 2022, Montgomery is eligible to become a free agent. If the Cubs keep holding him back from being a full-time starting pitcher, he may very well choose to leave. But until then or until a better sixth starter presents himself, I suspect Chicago will keep Montgomery right where he’s at.