It’s game three of Spring Training, and we get to see a real starting pitcher for the Bombers today. Jordan Montgomery makes his first start against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field in Clearwater.
Montgomery is tasked with keeping the Yankees’ spotless spring record intact (although he’ll only throw two innings maximum). It was just last year that Montgomery was a revelation and forced his way North as the team’s fifth starter. The 25-year-old, drafted out of the University of South Carolina in 2014, went 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA (4.07 FIP) in 29 starts for the team. He’s all but guaranteed to be in the rotation again, but the team will keep a watchful eye on his innings to avoid injuries.
His counterpart is another young starter with incredible talent: right-hander Aaron Nola. He was the seventh overall pick of the same draft where Montgomery was taken (Gumby went in the fourth round), and he debuted the following season at age-22. He impressed last season with a 3.54 ERA (3.27 FIP) and 9.9 K/9 rate at age-24. He, too, is set to be a huge piece of a young and talented Phillies rotation.
Some veterans have made the trip to Clearwater, as the lineup shows. I think a few things deserve highlighting: Gleyber Torres is starting at shortstop, even though the big-league availability is second base. Danny Espinosa is at the keystone, while Ronald Torreyes moves to third. There is a battle for that utility infielder spot. Lastly, the center field competition plays out with Jacoby Ellsbury in the field and Aaron Hicks at the designated hitter spot.
Scheduled relievers for the Yankees today are LHP Justus Sheffield, LHP Wade LeBlanc, RHP Cale Coshow and RHP Raynel Espinal.
- Roman Quinn – CF
- J.P. Crawford – SS
- Nick Williams – LF
- Odúbel Herrera – DH
- Maikel Franco – 3B
- Andrew Knapp – C
- Tommy Joseph – 1B
- Dylan Cozens – RF
- Pedro Florimón – 2B