Mike Montgomery
Mike Montgomery
29-Year-Old PitcherRP
Chicago Cubs
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Montgomery was over his skis as a full-time starter, but has found a decent home in the swingman role where he can don the reliever cap or make spot starts to help the club. He doesn't cook with the gas that most pitchers use these days, but rather goes after the groundball while still being able to get the strikeouts when he needs to. He was much better in his role as a starter last season than he was in relief; a 3.69 ERA and 10 K-BB% in the rotation easily bested his 5.13 ERA and 4.4 K-BB% out of the bullpen. Sixteen of the 43 earned runs Montgomery allowed as a stater last season were in games in which he was exposed to the third-time-through-the-order penalty. If the Cubs were to employ the opener strategy in 2019, it could surface some hidden value from Montgomery in his ratios and wins. In a perfect world, Montgomery's 2019 = Ryan Yarbrough's 2018. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $2.44 million contract with the Cubs in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Picks up first win
PChicago Cubs
May 9, 2019
Montgomery (1-0) pitched five scoreless innings and earned the win in Thursday's 4-1 victory over the Marlins. He allowed three hits and two walks, while striking out three.
This was Montgomery's first appearance since returning from a month-long stint on the injured list due to a lat issue, and the lefty looked sharp. With starter Yu Darvish needing 97 pitches to cover four innings, Montgomery did the Chicago bullpen a solid by covering five innings. The 29-year-old has started 56 games in his MLB career, including 19 a season ago, so he's certainly capable of giving the Cubs some length from a long-relief role.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .257 312 55 23 72 14 2 6
Since 2017vs Right .249 817 139 75 179 32 1 16
2019vs Left .615 14 0 0 8 3 1 1
2019vs Right .250 41 8 4 9 2 0 1
2018vs Left .250 148 31 12 33 6 1 2
2018vs Right .281 386 55 27 98 17 1 8
2017vs Left .230 150 24 11 31 5 0 3
2017vs Right .215 390 76 44 72 13 0 7
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2017Home 4.00 1.45 128.1 6 6 3 5.8 3.9 0.6
Since 2017Away 3.50 1.18 138.2 7 8 0 7.2 2.7 0.9
2019Home 0.00 1.00 7.0 1 0 0 6.4 2.6 0.0
2019Away 11.81 2.63 5.1 0 0 0 5.1 3.4 3.4
2018Home 4.94 1.67 51.0 2 2 0 5.3 3.5 0.7
2018Away 3.33 1.16 73.0 3 4 0 6.9 2.3 0.7
2017Home 3.71 1.34 70.1 3 4 3 6.1 4.4 0.5
2017Away 2.98 1.06 60.1 4 4 0 7.8 3.1 0.9
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Stat Review
How does Mike Montgomery compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 20 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
92.2 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
91.2 mph
Spin Rate
1922 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Manager Joe Maddon said in August that Montgomery's future was as a starter, but it remains to be seen whether the Cubs will follow through and actually make the lefty a full-time member of the rotation. Montgomery operated as the Cubs' swingman in 2017, making 14 starts to go with 30 relief appearances. The final numbers were decent enough, and Montgomery's 4.15 ERA as a starter was largely backed up by the peripherals (4.07 FIP, 4.35 xFIP). Montgomery's K-rate fell more than a full strikeout per nine to 6.9 K/9 while his walk rate ticked up to 3.8 BB/9. He continued to induce groundballs at a high rate (57.8 percent) and he did a good job of keeping right-handed hitters in check (.282 wOBA), but the lack of swing and miss puts a cap on Montgomery's fantasy ceiling.
Acquired from Seattle in July, Montgomery made five starts and 12 relief appearances during the second half of the season, flashing the potential to be an intriguing sleeper if he's tasked with starting in 2017. Cubs fans will remember Montgomery regardless of how he's utilized going forward, as he threw the final pitch in Game 7 of the World Series. Other than a spike in home runs allowed, Montgomery's peripherals between the rotation and bullpen were nearly identical last season, and his greatest obstacle in becoming a good starter will be control, as he walked batters at a 12.2 percent clip following the move to Chicago. That surge was accompanied by a spike in his swinging-strike rate, and his overall mark in 2016 (11.6 percent) points to a pitcher with good weapons and a strong understanding of how to use them. Barring an unexpected addition to the rotation, Montgomery is the frontrunner to begin 2017 as the Cubs' No. 5 starter.
Once a top prospect for the Royals, Montgomery joined his third team in four years when the Mariners acquired him in late March. He made his major-league debut in early June and posted a 1.62 ERA through his first seven starts, becoming the 12th rookie since 1980 to pitch consecutive shutouts. Ominous signs loomed, however. His impressive ERA was built on an unsustainable 0.4 HR/9 and .221 BABIP, fueling a low 6.1 H/9, while his K/9 was a weak 5.6. Sure enough, regression came calling in his next nine starts. A 2.0 HR/9 and .368 BABIP, which more than doubled his H/9 to 13.1, resulted in an 8.33 ERA. Not only did he lose his command (and pay for it with 22 XBH allowed), he also lost his control, as his BB/9 ballooned to 5.40. But as unsustainable as his early numbers were, his latter numbers are probably on the other side of the regression axis. He'll compete for a rotation spot, but his best shot to make the roster is in the bullpen.
Montgomery was once a highly-rated prospect for the Royals who ended up being a throw-in to the Wil Myers/James Shields trade. He has spent all of his time within the organization at Triple-A Durham, where he has posted a 4.98 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP over 44 starts. With better talent all around him, there is little chance Montgomery makes the Rays as a starter unless he has to fill in for an injury. His potential ceiling is that of a swing man that spot starts and works long relief, much like the recently-departed Cesar Ramos. Montgomery does do a good job of limiting home runs, but his walk rate is below average and his strikeout rate is barely league average. Leave him in the free agent pile.
Montgomery was looking for a change of scenery in a new start in the Rays' organization in 2013, but he did not show a ton of progress. He mainly pitched at Triple-A Durham and had his season briefly interrupted by a forearm strain. His K:BB ratio was a poor 87:51 in 117.1 innings. He remains a pitch-to-contact thrower on the mound and it appears that the big left-hander has stalled a bit on his rise to the major leagues. He will likely remain at Triple-A Durham to begin 2014 as a starter.
Once a prized jewel of the Royals' pitching prospects, Montgomery has fallen off immensely over the last two years after battling elbow problems back in 2010. He opted to avoid surgery, but has not been the same since, as both his strikeout and walk rates have worsened significantly. He no longer pitches with the same confidence he once had at the lower levels and has lost most of the command he helped build up with his moves through both Double and Triple-A. In fact, things got so bad at Triple-A last season with a career-low 6.6 K/9 and a career-worst 4.2 BB/9 that the organization moved him back down a level where he continued to struggle. Montgomery was included in the blockbuster deal between the Royals and Rays in December, and could benefit from the change of scenery, especially given the Rays' track record of developing young pitching. Look for him to spend most of 2013 in the minors if he is still viewed as a starter by his new organization.
A first-round pick in 2008, Montgomery's development hit a speed bump in 2011 as he spent the entire season trying to overcome control issues. He had 129 strikeouts and 69 walks with a 5.32 ERA over 150.2 innings at Triple-A Omaha. His penchant for walks isn't something new as walked almost 4.0 BB/9IP while at Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2010. Only 22 years old, there's still time for Montgomery to figure things out and capitalize upon the skills that made him a top pitching prospect entering the 2011 season.
One of the Royals' biggest hopes for the future, Montgomery still has just 245 innings of minor league experience and is way off from being a major contributor for the parent club. He is, however, a bona fide ace prospect with stellar numbers as he's ascended through the minors at a rapid rate. A forearm injury knocked Montgomery out for two months of the 2010 season, but there are no long-term concerns about his health with respect to his mechanics. In his arsenal, Montgomery offers an excellent fastball, improving curveball and a good changeup. A late 2011 debut in Kansas City is possible, but we wouldn't be surprised to see him split the season between Double- and Triple-A before making the leap in 2012.
Montgomery is a big left-handed starting pitcher who went a combined 6-4 with 2.21 ERA between Low-A and High-A last season. His command was good as well -- 2.08 BB/9IP and 7.96 K/9IP -- particularly for his age. Montgomery is a groundball pitcher with late life on 89-94 mph fastball (his out pitch). He is developing his curve and changeup. And he's also working on a palm ball which can add yet another pitch to his impressive arsenal. Montgomery has a competitive nature that led to some "dust ups" and interpersonal issues in his past, but he's got an effortless delivery and he may even be the organization's best prospect. Look for him at some point in 2010 as a back of the rotation starter with big upside. He's a definite keeper and a pitcher that can dominate a game when he's on.
More Fantasy News
Returns from injured list
PChicago Cubs
May 8, 2019
Montgomery (lat) returned from the injured list Wednesday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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Rehab outing on tap
PChicago Cubs
April 26, 2019
Montgomery (lat) is expected to make another rehab appearance Saturday for Triple-A Iowa, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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Rehab appearance coming Monday
PChicago Cubs
April 21, 2019
Montgomery (lat) will make another rehab appearance for Double-A Tennessee on Monday, Bruce Levine of 670TheScore.com reports.
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Needs another rehab appearance
PChicago Cubs
April 19, 2019
Montgomery (lat) will require at least one more rehab appearance before returning to the Cubs, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
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Rehab set for Wednesday
PChicago Cubs
April 17, 2019
Montgomery (lat) will make a rehab appearance for Low-A South Bend on Wednesday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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