Aug
02

The next great Yankee reliever

By

(Kate Thornton/The New York Times)

While the Yankees’ development of starting pitchers has been considered a weak point for years, there is no doubt that the farm has produced some impressive relief arms.  In recent years, this includes Tyler Clippard (who came through the system as a starter), Mark Melancon (who struggled early this year, but was impressive last year), George Kontos (who has been impressive since being traded to the Giants) and of course David Robertson, once described by a scout as a “the baseball equivalent of a sociopathic murderbot from the future.”

Evaluating relief prospects is often a tricky proposition, and going just on minor league statistics can mislead as much as it may inform.  There are plenty of examples from the Yankee system of organizational arms who posted silly minor league numbers, but never amounted to anything in the majors. Colter Bean, Josh Schmidt, and Edwar Ramirez (one of my all-time favorite prospects) are several examples of this phenomenon.  Bean and Schmidt were sidearmers who largely got by on deception, while Ramirez was a one-trick pony, relying heavily on a changeup that is perhaps the best I have ever seen (I kid you not).  Since most relievers are failed starters, draft pedigree is not often informative in determining which prospects to follow, and who will have success in the majors.

With all these caveats in place, it’s still hard not to get excited about what Mark Montgomery has done this season.  Montgomery, the subject of a prospect profile back in November, has exceeded the loftiest expectations.  He is an 11th-rounder out of Longwood University in 2011, works in the low-90′s with his fastball and boasts one of the best sliders in the minors that is already considered a plus major league pitch.  Because of that nasty slider, Montgomery’s Twitter handle @snapdragonmonty is especially appropriate.  On the season, his first full one as a professional, Montgomery has been flat-out dominant.  Between high-A and AA, he’s put up a 1.34 ERA, with 13.8 strikeouts/9 and 3.6 walks/9.  The strikeout rate is impressive, and evidence of how he has overmatched hitters thus far, and the walk rate is not bad for a power pitcher.

Because of his strikeout dominance and rapid rise through the minor leagues, David Robertson is probably the most appropriate comparison.  On paper, the numbers are very similar.  Throughout his minor league career, Robertson posted a 1.28 ERA, 12.6 strikeouts/9, and 3.5 walks/9.  Montgomery has posted a 1.41 ERA, with 14.7 strikeouts/9 and 3.4 walks/9.  The numbers are very close, favoring Montgomery slightly on the peripherals, though it is worth noting that he has only reached AA.  However, Montgomery is on a slightly different trajectory than Robertson because he debuted at 20 in his draft year, while Robertson didn’t make his minor league debut until age 22 (the year after he was drafted, because he received an overslot bonus).

D-Rob was fast-tracked to the majors, spending less than two years in the minors before making his big league debut, where he quickly became a fixture in the Yankee bullpen.  Montgomery looks to be on a similar path, and he could be in the bigs as soon as September if the Yankees are interested in really pushing him.  With the return of Joba Chamberlain from injury, the incentive to push Montgomery to the majors may be reduced, since Joba fills a bullpen hole, and Montgomery would likely be reduced to pitching low-leverage innings on the big-league roster.  However, if the Yankees think that Montgomery could be an asset during the playoffs, I could see them swapping out Cody Eppley to give Montgomery a try.  Realistically, however, Montgomery will likely start 2013 in AAA, and if all goes well, could be knocking on the door to the bigs fairly soon.

Mike Ashmore and Josh Norris (the dynamic duo of Trenton Thunder beatwriters) have some great video of Montgomery embarrassing some AA hitters in a recent 4-strikeout outing.  I highly recommend checking them out, and thanks to Mike and Josh for all their hard work in acquiring them.  The nasty slider is definitely on display, and the Altoona hitters have no chance.  It’s pretty clear from the videos that Montgomery is not getting by on gimmicks and trickery, but rather, bona fide major league stuff.  I don’t know when Montgomery will make his Major League debut, however, if I were Brian Cashman I would have to think long and hard about giving Montgomery a taste of the majors to see if he could be an asset on the postseason roster.

Categories : Minors
  • Get Phelps Up

    That prospect profile has some…interesting comments to say the least.

    • jjyank

      Oh man, a Plank and Ted argument. Those were always entertaining. What happened to Plank anyway, I feel like he hasn’t been around in awhile.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Either he’s busy abroad or got burnt out on here.

        • RetroRob

          He seemed to have disappeared after a flame-war (is that term even used any more?) incident. Not sure if he got banned or just up and left.

          He was perplexing. He would write intelligent comments, but he was very thin-skinned. If you disagreed with him on anything, he felt the need to keep escalating on issues where he was offering opinion as opposed to fact.

  • Pete

    Bring him up already. Let’s find out what we have.

    • 28 this year

      To bring it back.

      WHY THE FUCK IS MY BURRITO TAKING SO LONG TO COOK IN THE MICROWAVE!!!??!!!

      (I don’t remember the exact quote but the burrito part is definitely right)

      • Tampa Yankee

        I miss TSJC

      • jjyank

        I feel like this meme has made quite the comeback. I won’t lie, I was really confused at first. I was an RAB ready back then, but this was before I got into the comments section. I did a little homework though.

        • Gonzo

          Wasn’t there a picture of someone looking into a microwave closely floating around too?

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Yes there was.

            There was a point to some of those old memes that’s still valid and, really, they’re good troll-stoppers. I honestly feel bad using them sometimes. It’s like I’m violating someone’s intellectual property. I came up with none of these.

            Hopefully, someone three years from now will make random references to Pillowpants, Pussyfeathers, and FIP.

            • Gonzo

              I actually miss Big Bertha.

            • jjyank

              I’d like to think so, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who references FIP, and even then it’s only in regards to two people.

              I’d like to see Pillowpants get some more play though.

        • MannyGeee

          Best RAB meme ever. and so goddam fitting. Where have you gone, TSJC…

          /Mrs. Robinson’d

      • JobaWockeeZ

        While as great as it is you bring it up for something as harmless as that? This is exactly why it was dying.

        • 28 this year

          Fair enough but I think the Yankees would best off waiting until September or injury to bring him up. Right now, a little AAA action might be beneficial and right now, there’s no one that should be kicked from their spot in the majors right now save for maybe Nova but even that, its probably not necessary right now.

  • ron

    is he the heir we’ve been waiting for?

  • Morgan

    That Kontos trade was idiotic…

    • William

      Anything’s more than a bag of balls for Stewart is idiotic…..

    • vin

      Whenever you can trade a potentially useful reliever for an awful backup catcher, you HAVE to make that move.

      Did I do it right, Axisa?

      • RetroRob

        Close. I think it’s any time you have a chance to trade a potentially useful bullpen arm for a downgrade at backup catcher, you have to take it.

        Kontos would be providing more value to the Yankees now than Stewart.

        • vin

          There it is. I’ll try to get it right next time.

          I wish Stewart could at least throw out a baserunner. There’s nothing he does well, that we the fans can actually identify.

          • RetroRob

            Pretty much every Yankee catcher suffers a decrease in runners thrown out. Stewart’s down. Cervelli dropped quite a bit from the minors. Martin’s down from his LA years. I wonder if the overall delivery time of Yankee pitchers is less than league average.

            Bottom line to me is Stewart has a stronger arm than Cervelli, but the difference in stolen bases is unimportant. The Mike Fast study on catcher’s framing skills also had Cervelli in the positive zone. Add in Cervelli’s probably 50 pts. in OBP and Stewart is a downgrade.

    • MannyGeee

      I usually disagree with anything “so-and-so trade was the worst ever!!!!”, but goddam it. Chris Stewart was not lighting thew world on fire in SF and Kontos wasn’t killing us down in AAA.

      it is what it is I suppose, but that trade was short sighted, at best.

      With that said, this is not a trade that will kill the season for us.

    • Reggie C.

      Is Kontos closer to 30 than he is 25?

      That dude could run for president of Greece (if its still there and not sold piecemeal) in a few years.

  • Manimal

    Hes got to get to AAA first right?(RIGHT?!?!?)

  • jjyank

    I’m down for checking out Montegomery over Eppley. Always exciting to see a prospect come up. Maybe he can be 2007 Joba. Or maybe Joba can be 2007 Joba.

    • Ted Nelson

      Only downside is if calling him up starts his arb clock early. I would definitely do that if they think he can add something meaningful right away, but not just to take a little look.

      • jjyank

        That’s true, I wasn’t thinking about his arb clock.

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t think a September call up does, but I don’t know where the cutoff lies.

          • jjyank

            Is it a cut off date? I was under the impression that it was an innings pitched threshold (or at bats for hitters). I could be wrong though. Mike and/or Eric, can someone shed some light on that?

            • Gonzo

              Not sure if this is what you were asking, but any day in the majors counts against your arb clock. Doesn’t matter if it’s in September or April.

            • Rick in Philly

              AB/IP thresholds are Rookie of the Year qualifications. I could be wrong, but September call ups do impact service time accumulation.

              • Gonzo

                Even Brackman has over a year of MLB service time due to his DL stint for TJS.

            • Ted Nelson

              Not the cutoff date, but the cutoff for a year against your arb clock. I am almost positive that one September doesn’t count as a year.

              Take Montero. September call-up, not arb eligible until 2015… Which gives the Ms three years on top of last September.

              I am saying that I don’t know what the cutoff is that makes a season count against your arb clock.

              • Gonzo

                You can use http://www.google.com. This isn’t a test Ted.

                One year for purposes of arb and FA is 172 days out of 182 days of the baseball year.

                Meaning if he is good enough to “stick” on the roster right now, you could bring him up now and it would be the same FA or Super 2 status as if he started the season opener next year and never went down again.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Why are you such a douchebag?

                  I ask a question and you attack rather than just answer… Fucking tool

                  • Gonzo

                    The funny thing is that you have used the http://www.google.com move before.

                    Just pulling from your playbook Ted.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I’m flattered

                    • Gonzo

                      That’s the ticket.

              • Ed

                It’s based on the number of days of service time you have. 180 days of service time = 1 year.

                You become arbitration eligible if you have 3 full years of service time. You can also be eligible as a super 2 – short version is, make a list of all players with at least 2 years of service time but less than 3, sorted by service time. The top 22% of that list can also go to arbitration.

                If you’re called up to the major league roster or reside on the major league disabled list, you accrue service time. The days don’t have to be consecutive and can be spread out over any number of seasons.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Thank you Ed. I did not know what the cutoff was for a year.

      • Samuel

        Worried about the arb clock on a reliever might the stupidest reason not to bring up a guy.

        • Gonzo

          I tend to agree and it’s not really in the Yankees MO.

        • Voice of Reason

          Srsly. That should barely register as a concern, especially considering the attrition rate for relievers. If he makes it to arbitration without going in the tank, you’ve got no reason to complain. Get value while you can.

        • Ted Nelson

          Totally disagree. Getting a few more innings out of a guy that you didn’t need is a terrible reason to waste money.

          You have to weight the benefits vs. the costs. What is the benefit of replacing Eppley with Montgomery now instead of waiting until September? There are real costs, financial and maybe to his development as well.

          • Gonzo

            If he sticks August 1st, September 1st, or Opening Day 2013, the FA and arb clock is all the same.

            That is if he never goes down again to the minors.

            • Ted Nelson

              Not if he qualifies as a super 2.

              And in your attempt to be a smartass you missed that Samuel said being worried about the arb clock of a reliever in general. Not in the case of Montgomery this season.

              • Gonzo

                Did you read what I wrote?

                If he comes up on any of those dates, and never goes back down, his arb clock is the SAME.

                • Ted Nelson

                  So how do they calculate super 2s, then? Am I supposed to take everything the great Gonzo writes as fact?

                  • Gonzo

                    You could google it, but I’m not forcing it on you. If you rather think you are right than know I am right, that’s your prerogative.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I have stated no position at all… How could I possibly be correct. It is literally impossible.

                      I believe you are, in fact, incorrect though.

                    • Gonzo

                      Oh Ted, I’m not incorrect. You are just stirring the pot.

                    • Gonzo

                      August 1st
                      September 1st
                      Opening Day 2013

                      And he never goes back down.
                      Same arb clocks.
                      The guy that said this, “I don’t think a September call up does, but I don’t know where the cutoff lies.” says I’m incorrect.

                      Ooookay.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      No, I’m pretty sure you are incorrect. And as you have cited no source, I really have no reason to believe you. I am almost positive August and September count as service time.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Who besides you is assuming a AA reliever called up never goes back down?

                    • Gonzo

                      I actually said this earlier, “…any day in the majors counts against your arb clock.”

                      Changing the subject all over. This is the Ted Nelson playbook. Hahaha!

                      You know I’m right.

                      This
                      August 1st
                      September 1st
                      Opening Day 2013
                      And he never goes back down.
                      Same arb clocks.

                      Does not contradict this:
                      …any day in the majors counts against your arb clock.

                      I said both things and both are true. You said one was incorrect. You are wrong.

                      Going back down to the minors is a red herring. This is fun Ted.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I didn’t say you were wrong. Keep fighting those windmills.

                      Going back down to the minors is the most likely outcome. I glossed over the never goes down thing, because it’s a ridiculous assumption. No one else was discussing that but you.

                    • Gonzo

                      I believe you are, in fact, incorrect though.

                      Keep moving Ted, keep moving.

                      If you believe he’s going back down at some point, then the arb clock argument is pretty pointless Ted.

                  • Samuel

                    Early August is way past the Super 2 status day, which is usually in early May.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      It’s cumulative days across seasons.

                    • Gonzo

                      Yes it’s cumulative across seasons. I think we know that. What’s your point?

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Really? That is does count towards super 2 status. Are you that annoying or that dumb?

                    • Gonzo

                      Of course it counts towards super 2. I actually said this, “…any day in the majors counts against your arb clock.”

                      I don’t think you understand what I am saying.

                    • Gonzo

                      I think you need to wipe the crud out your eye and pay attention to what you’re reading.

                      You obviously don’t know anything about this subject, so maybe you should sit this one out, or take a few minutes reading up.

                    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Eric Schultz

                      Ted and Gonzo, can we give this a rest please?

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Eric:No, I’d rather not.

                      Gonzo… Your first comment is totally irrelevant. It has nothing at all to do with what I was talking to Samuel about. You are talking to yourself again.

                      It absolutely does count towards his arb clock. Which is why I brought it up. What are you even talking about?

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      How incredibly unnecessary was all of this?

                    • Gonzo

                      You believe this guy Eric?

                      Doesn’t know when to call it a day.

                      I said this, “…any day in the majors counts against your arb clock.”

                      Are you saying I’m not saying that?

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      You know what, Gonzo? Bullshit, just bullshit. You’ve been wanting to pick a fight with Ted since another thread this morning. Bullshit. Don’t pin this on him. You could have stopped replying.

                      And Ted, quit taking the fucking bait here. People here want to take the might Ted down, but they’re not going to stop trying unless you stop giving them the opening to.

                      So sick of this shit.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      This line of comments started with you asking why I said it’s cumulative days across seasons. Do I really have to point out to you that he might not stick at 21 jumping from AA to a perrenial WS contending BP?

                      Stop appealing to Eric. He’s not your mommy.

                    • Gonzo

                      I offered to stop replying to his posts if he stopped replying to mine. He said no.

                      I’m willing to offer that again if you want Robinson.

                    • jjyank

                      Whoa. Just checked back here out of boredom. This is ridiculous guys. Let’s move on.

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      I’m stepping back out here.

                    • Gonzo

                      You’re right jjyank. It’s time to move on. As Ted said, Eric is not my mommy.

              • Samuel

                That is correct. I was referring to relievers in general.

                Although I am not advocating bringing up Montgomery to replace Eppley, I have seen MM throw and he is pretty good.

                But no way I can see Girardi using a rookie in the post season over a “veteran” like Eppley, even if Eppley begins to suck.

                • Ted Nelson

                  I think that’s pretty presumptuous about Girardi.

                  • Samuel

                    It’s his track record with young pitchers.

                    When Phelps started games, Girardi never let him get out of any jams middle of game, and pulls young kids all the time if they get into trouble.

  • CountryClub

    My excitment for him is always tempered by the article Josh Norris did in June where he had scouts talk about the top Yankees prospects. I realize scouts are wrong more than they’re right, but this isn’t what you want to read about a guy that’s putting up insane numbers:

    Scout’s View: “I have him as an up and down guy. I think he’ll pitch in the big leagues, but I’m really concerned about the effort in his delivery. He’s got a big head-jerk at the finish of it. I know people have been comparing him to Robertson, but I just don’t see the secondary stuff. He’s got a power arm – his fastball gets a little bit straight – and his command his below average. The slider will flash fringe-average, but I didn’t see anything to make me think it was an average pitch.

    “This is one where you really have to dig down deep and say ‘What do we have here?’ It’s a 5-11 righty who doesn’t have a great frame (and) the fastball’s pretty straight. I think he’s got enough stuff to eventually get a look at the big leagues, but I don’t think it sticks.”

    Scout’s View 2: “He’s got a very, very good slider. He’s got a major league slider now. It’s just about him harnessing command and control. He’s going to pitch in the big leagues, and I think he’s going to turn around his command and control. Joba had more repertoire and he threw pretty hard but, slider to slider, they’re probably pretty similar.

    Scout’s View 3: “Nothing special. Average fastball, below-average command. Decent slider if delivery is in sync. He competes. Probably a middle relief-type guy if he makes it.

    http://minormatterstrenton.blo.....chive.html

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Eric Schultz

      Definitely valid concerns. I’m no expert in mechanics, but his arm action looked pretty short and over the top (like Mark Melancon). I have no idea if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but the delivery definitely didn’t look as smooth as D-Rob’s. He also doesn’t have the same flexibility/stride length that Robertson has (few do), so his fastball may not explode on people in the same way. Nonetheless, the slider is definitely dynamite, so if he can command the fastball, he will be very tough to hit.

    • vin

      “Joba had more repertoire and he threw pretty hard but, slider to slider, they’re probably pretty similar.”

      Jesus, why not compare him to David Price while you’re at it?! Joba was one of the best pitching prospects in the draft back in ’06. Monty was an 11th rounder out of a small school.

      So one guy thinks he’ll be on the fringe of the big leagues, the other thinks he’ll be pretty good in the bigs, and the other thinks he’ll be a middle-reliever in the bigs. Way to cover all the bases, guys. It amazes me how 3 different scouts can all look at the same pitcher, even on the same day, and have 3 different projects. I think that speaks less about Monty, and more about the nature of scouting. These guys only know what history has shown them… straight fastballs = bad, righty, in-sync mechanics = better command.

      We’ve seen too many players get hyped only to fall on their faces. Just like we’ve seen tons of guys fly under the radar and have big careers. We’ve seen some guys have below average careers then turn into stars once something clicks, and we’ve also seen guys start off great, then fade after a couple years.

      Scouting should be used to tell us what a guy has now, and what he may have in the future. Trying to project a player’s career contains a fair amount of guesswork because there are too many variables at play.

      You either find players who have the tools, or have the results. The guys who have both are the safest bets, but they can be hard to come by.

      • Ted Nelson

        They went out of their way not to compare him to Joba, only to compare one pitch.

        Yeah, this is absolutely the nature of scouting. Doesn’t mean it’s useless, though. You also have to consider who you are listening to.

      • RetroRob

        I think we all sometimes get a little too wrapped up in individual scout reviews, supporting those who agree that our burrito is the best burrito ever, while getting annoyed at anyone questioning the ingredients in our burrito.

        As rapidly as Robertson moved through the system, and as good as he was in the minors, I do remember some scouts questioning him. He was hardly some slam-dunk, sure thing, even though he was pretty much regarded as an intriguing prospect from day one.

        A writer can sit down and decide to write an article about just about any prospect, and he will be able to find a few scouts with negative things to say, even about top prospects. Heck, Buster Olney does this all the time. If he wants to write something negative about a player, he’ll find some unnamed scout or “talent evaluator” (who knows what that means) affiliated in some capacity with MLB or a MLB team (hotdog vendor?) and he’ll get the quote he needs. He might even ask the evaluator what he likes about a player, and then ask if the player has one weakness, what would it be. Olney will then only use the weakness, because it’s an unnamed source. He doesn’t have to worry aboutt he source coming back and being annoyed at him. He supposedly is covering his journalistic butt, but it’s still questionable. Sorry, I don’t mean to pick on Olney, but he does it reguarly. I remember after Cano had an off postseason a few years back, he wrote a story on Cano and used an unnamed talent evaluator who said Cano could not hit quality pitchers. Amazing on many levels.

        Anyway, related, in today’s Klaw chat, someone asked Klaw his thoughts on Montgomery:

        Joe (Chicago) Any chance the Mark Montgomery is a top ten Yankees prospect next season?

        Klaw (2:05 PM) I don’t boost relievers that much in my rankings, but I do like Montgomery for what he is.

        • Ted Nelson

          Good point. Robertson was definitely questioned

    • blake

      when you have one scout say that he’s got a very very good slider…..and another saying he’s got a decent slider that’s nothing special….then it suggest that somebody doesn’t know what he’s talking about…..when you look at his numbers I’d lean towards the one that says he’s good. Some scouts are dumb.

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah, you have to consider the sources. When one guy is talking about reliever frame… Doesn’t get my vote. I can at least entertain frame in terms of durability and see it in terms of projecting HS guys a little… But relievers?

        • jjyank

          Yeah, David Robertson doesn’t exactly have a beast of a frame. Plenty of guys like him out there as relievers.

          • Cris Pengiucci

            Look at Mariano’s frame. He turned out OK.

      • Dan

        Part of me wonders if the discrepencies might be that some teams scouts were trying to float negative evaluations of him to maybe convince the Yankees to let him go for cheap. I am not saying it would work, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some teams tried this type of gamesmanship… Give negative public evaluations to the media/bloggers and give the real evaluation to their front office and hope they can steal the player away.

        • JohnnyC

          I think that’s a major factor in these scouts’ comments. It’s a real strategy that, for some reason, media types seem to ignore. Like why would an Orioles scout go out of his way to hype a Yankees prospect? Unless he was looking for a new job…with the Yankees.

          • Dan

            Right, I think unless you are within a team’s front office you won’t know what scouts really think and will just have to go by amateur scouting of media types. It just doesn’t seem like there is any benefit to being honest in evaluations. Even if you really like the player, like the one scout that gave a somewhat positive review, it would make more sense to still undercut the true evaluation so you can get a more positive return in a trade package.

            • Ted Nelson

              He said he used some Yankees scouts, so the positive one could even be a Yankees scout. I have no idea how honest scouts are with media types, but it is possible they game the system

      • Samuel

        Some scouts only see a guy once, and if a certain usually awesome pitch is flat that day, it leads to “his slider is just OK.”

        That is why for most scouts to be trusted on their opinions, they would need to see a guy several times during the course of the season, and preferably at multiple levels over a couple different seasons.

        • Ted Nelson

          This plus even if they’ve seen a guy a ton two people can differ.

  • vin

    Dude, you’ve got to get that David Robertson link working…

  • Steve (different one)

    When Robertson was brought up in 2008, every time he was brought in with men on base, RAB would criticize Girardi for putting a rookie in such a tough spot.

    Now we are talking about essentially skipping a 2011 draftee from AA to the postseason roster.

    Not saying he isn’t capable, just find it interesting.

    • vin

      There were plenty of times in 2009 when I was cursing at Robertson because he was brought in to protect a 4+ run lead in the 9th, and his wildness led to baserunners, which forced Mo to get warm in the bullpen.

      I don’t think there’s any way they bring him up in September. Maybe if they promoted him to Trenton earlier (like we all thought they would), but they moved him too slowly.

      • RetroRob

        Well, we have discovered since then that that is a D-Rob trademark! Back then is was scary, where now we accept it as part of who he is, and have faith that he is going to get out of the mess he sometimes creates.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      This.

    • A.D.

      Plenty of folks that also though they were pretty slow with Robertson

  • Voice of Reason

    I don’t know about all this, but he should be called up in September. It was obvious that he’d be overqualified for high A this year, and he was kept there for a ridiculous amount of time. More of the same in 8 AA innings, and it’s not going to stop. He could be one of those guys who was ML ready from the word go, but the Yankees have been conservative with his promotions for…no reason? He’s a reliever and he probably is what he’ll be already. Realistically, the more time he spends in the minors just means less service time before he loses it or blows out his arm.

    • Ted Nelson

      In what world is AA in your first full pro season conservative?

      • Voice of Reason

        I’m aware of the situation, so why bend over backwards to mislead me? As you well know, being in a particular level at a particular time isn’t something that’s capable of being aggressive or conservative, only the promotions that led to the situation.

        Based on how he pitched last year, not skipping him over high A was a conservative move. As was waiting as long as they did to promote him to AA this season.

        • Ted Nelson

          I disagree. Results are the most important thing, but not everything. He might be working on certain things that will pay off long-term that High A was more conducive to in terms of level of comp or coaching. It’s not like the Yankees missed how Well he was doing.

          Not rushing a guy to the point of failure isn’t the same as being conservative. There’s a ton of grey area. Putting a guy in AA his first full season is aggressive overall. He could be in MLB his second pro season. That is not conservative. It might not be the most aggressive path possible, but there is more than just binary opposites.

          • Voice of Reason

            It’s not like the Yankees missed how well he was doing? What the hell kind of sentence is that? Nothing approximating the opposite sentiment is expressed anywhere in any of my comments. What is that in response to? And also, I never said there were two choices: conservative, or most aggressive possible. You’ve got a real strawman problem, Ted. And I get a kick out of “rushing to the point of failure,” as if my imaginary alternative to conservative promotion (again, pretending I believe it to be a binary choice between two extremes) necessarily yields disastrous results. Yikes.

            Anyway, if anything, you seem to be adhering to the idea that “conservative” cannot mean anything other than “slow.” Why else would you rubber stamp his promotions as not conservative based solely on the fact his reaching AA in his first full season, or to put it another way: second season. He pitched 28 innings in 2011, certainly less than a full season, but there’s no reason to gloss over it…unless of course doing so aids your narrative in some way…

            This is all dependent on context. For a college reliever putting up outstanding numbers, it’s in no way aggressive. To illustrate: in your left hand you have MLB organizations that would have promoted him more aggressively, in your right hand you have organizations that would have promoted him less aggressively. Which has more? Which of Montgomery’s promotion struck you as more aggressive than average?

            • Ted Nelson

              You took that totally out of context. I said that unless you know what he was working on, you aren’t really in a place to comment. Way to ignore the context then chastise me for that…

              You are calling promoting a guy to AA his first season conservative… I thought it was pretty pertinent to tell you there is an in between.

              Still going with binaries after chastising me? Are you serious? There’s situational development between those binaries. Not just looking at his stats. I don’t know what the Yankees were doing with Montgomery in Tampe, let alone what other teams would have done with him since drafting him.

              • Voice of Reason

                If you don’t want to guess what other teams would do, then on what basis can you say he’s been promoted aggressively or not conservatively? There has to be some baseline (what the average team would do seems like an obvious one), otherwise those words are meaningless. So of course there is an inbetween, I never suggested otherwise. It’s a range and obviously I think the Yankees are on the conservative end of that. Not sure how you could read “conservative” to mean “the most conservative possible, which is the only thing other than aggressive” or whatever meaning you’re acting as if it has.

                I get it, I’m an idiot because I don’t understand player development and there’s more than just stats, yadda yadda yadda. So what’s your excuse for saying it’s not conservative then? This whole “in AA, therefore not conservative” thing is pretty thin. Is it the ‘ol the Yankees are a ML team and I’m not, therefore any word I use to characterize what they do that might have a negative connotation must have been misapplied? Unless it’s that lame contrarian bullshit, your claim that he hasn’t been promoted conservatively would be overlooking all the same things that my claim supposedly does.

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

    Why not give him a chance. After all how much could it really hurt his development as a 1 inning reliever if he comes up to the majors and gets knocked around?

    Might catch lightening in a bottle.

  • Itchy Cro(tch)

    Bhavooo Schultzie, bhavo. ****Digital buttcheek slap****

  • Luisergi

    If he already calls himself Monty, Girardi will call him Montyey???

    • vin

      Nah, he’ll just go with “Marky.” Which would be awesome – would love to see a “funky bunch” section of the crowd.

    • jjyank

      I want to know what Girardi calls Casey McGehee.

      • JohnC

        When he homers will Sterling’s call be “CASEY…. AT THE BAT!!!”

    • bobtaco
  • Januz

    I have been real impressed with the numbers that Montgomery has put up since signing. that said, There really is not a need to bring him up to the Yankees (Unless Soriano or Robertson gets a major injury). I am sure he has an ETA of 2013 (provided he keeps pitchng well and no injury).

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

    The next great Yankee reliever?

    That guy is awfully pale looking to be Dellin Betances.

    • RetroRob

      Ha! Betances may be pumping gas within a few years. Sadly, he’s a mess.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Maybe I’m remembering something else, but I seem to remember Montgomery giving up a massive HR in spring training. Tiniest of SSS given, but the kid’s human. He gets here when he gets here. If that’s late 2013, fine.

    Maybe we let him sit in the dugout in September and allow DRob to breathe on him, as we do with prospects every year. Maybe he’ll even start the last game of the season like that other guy did last year. Ol’ whatshisname.

    My burritos? Freshly made every time.

  • Samuel

    “Bean and Schmidt were sidearmers who largely got by on deception, while Ramirez was a one-trick pony, relying heavily on a changeup that is perhaps the best I have ever seen…”

    Wow. Best change up you have ever seen? How many games have you actually watched? Ever see Cole Hamels pitch? How about Johan Santana when he was in his prime?

    There is also a guy named Cliff Lee with a pretty good change up.

    Best change up I have ever seen in the Yankee system was Christian Garcia’s change up, which rivaled Bugs Bunny’s.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Eric Schultz

      Perhaps I was being a little hyperbolic there, but Edwar’s changeup was ridiculous.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I don’t think you’re being hyperbolic. It was an absolutely nasty changeup. Samuel’s just bringing up guys who could throw something other than a weak FB as a secondary pitch and were, therefore, better pitchers overall. The fact that it was hard to fool people with it after seeing him a few times because it was all he had doesn’t take away from the pitch.

      • RetroRob

        I didn’t think it was a ridiculous comment. I’m not sure I agree with it, but when you said it I started thinking about changeups in general and what makes them effective, or how I would even rate the best changeup. Ramirez was a castoff, out of MLB when he developed that changeup, got noticed in an indy league, then burned through the minors, making the majors all on that changeup. Problem is he had nothing else. The fact he accomplished that much could me it was the best changeup. If had something else to go with it he might have stuck around.

    • pat

      Lol OK I’m sure you saw a ton of Christian Garcia while he pitched in the minors a handful of times.I’ll second the notion Ramirez’s change was one of the best I have seen. Unfortunately he was pretty much below average in every other aspect of being a pitcher, but it’s not a stretch to say his was on par with some of the great starters pitching today. He just didn’t have the fastball velocity or command or anything else to get guys off of it.

      • Samuel

        And I saw Garcia pitch this year, too, and his change up is major league worthy, right up there with the best in the game today.

        He has a pretty damn good curve ball right now, too, which is why he is averaging 12 Ks per 9 IP over two levels this season.

        http://www.baseball-reference......rcia001chr

        He should get a call up to Washington some time this season.

    • Ted Nelson

      Pretty funny to ask someone how many games they’ve watched then refer only to current players…

      • Samuel

        I was assuming the author is a young guy who has only been watching games for the last dozen years.

        If he is in his late 30s to early 40s, I will gladly list a few older pitchers who had pretty good change ups.