Montgomery “I’ll Do Any Role”
“I’m going to assume I’m going to be asked to start again,” Montgomery said. “If it changes, it changes. I’ll be able to adjust from there. I let them know, ‘Hey, I’ll do any role.’ I feel comfortable. For now, it’s just coming to the park tomorrow and get my work in and be ready to go.”
Every team and every manager dreams of having Big League players that just want to win. The Cubs and Joe Maddon have found just that guy in role player Mike Montgomery.
Montgomery has quietly become one of the most important pitchers on the Cubs pitching staff. From his bullpen appearances as a solid middle reliever that can go multiple innings when needed. To the next man up role when one of the starters go down with injuries.
Back on June 9th Montgomery was asked to fill the shoes of Kyle Hendricks when he went down with an injury and Monty performed fairly well with the exception of one poor outing just before the All-Star break. When Hendricks returned, Monty went back to his role as the middle reliever who picks up the slack when the starters left the game early.
On August 17th he entered the game in the 2nd inning where he filled in for Jon Lester who left after an injury to his left Lat muscle. In that game he pitched 4.1 innings of relief only allowing 3 hits and 0 runs. There was Little doubt that Montgomery would also step back into the rotation after Lester exited the game.
Not only did Montgomery step in to fill that role for the injured Lester, but he has done so in a way that has the fans wondering if he should stay in the rotation when Lester returns. In his first start filling in he managed to pitch 6 shutout innings of 4 hit ball. In his 2nd start last night he dazzled again with 7.0+ innings, 6 hits and 1 ER.
What more could you ask for from a guy?
After the game Monty was asked by reporters about his position as a role player on this team.
“I’m on a good team and I want to win,” Montgomery said. “Especially after last year, you realize that winning is the №1 goal.”
“Look it’s all about winning. You got to put that aside, check the ego at the door and just go out there and help the team win.”
The future for Mike Montgomery is most likely as a starter, but the return of Lester will be soon and the Cubs will have options now. They could go to a 6-man rotation, skip some of Lackey’s starts and give them to Monty, or he can return to the bullpen and be that shutdown middle reliever that makes Cubs fans feel safe in the middle of a game.
No matter what the Cubs decide to do, we know that Mike Montgomery will be willing to do whatever it takes to Win and Win now.
You can follow Craig House on Twitter @Craig_House3. All quotes are from CSN Chicago interview following the game.