Jordan Montgomery debut: Diamondbacks reveal when veteran lefty is likely to join MLB rotation

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Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Jordan Montgomery is expected to make his season debut this week, manager Torey Lovullo told reporters (including Theo Mackie of the Arizona Republic). As it stands, Montgomery is likely to toe the rubber for the Diamondbacks for the first time on Friday, April 19, or in the second of a four-game set in San Francisco against the Giants

Montgomery, who signed in late March, completed his latest minor-league ramp-up start on Saturday for Arizona’s Triple-A affiliate Reno. He surrendered seven runs on nine hits and two walks over 3 2/3 innings. Those results don’t matter much, of course. What’s more important is that he threw 71 pitches on the night, and that his four-seam fastball topped out around 92 mph, several ticks below last year’s high water mark. It stands to reason that Montgomery is still working off the rust of a long winter.

While Montgomery is far from flashy, he’s developed into an above-average starting pitcher. Over the last three seasons, he’s accumulated a 3.48 ERA (121 ERA+) and a 3.60 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 524 innings. Montgomery’s contributions were estimated to have been worth 9.2 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference. He was even a key part of the Texas Rangers‘ World Series-winning squad last fall. (Coincidentally, Montgomery helped lift the Rangers over these Diamondbacks.)

Montgomery’s presence in the rotation will be a welcomed development for the Diamondbacks, who shut down fellow free-agent signing Eduardo Rodriguez‘s throwing program over the weekend. Rodriguez has yet to pitch this season after suffering a strained lat during the spring

Between Montgomery and Rodriguez, the Diamondbacks committed more than $100 million to upgrade their rotation. Soon, they’ll begin to get a return on their investment.

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