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Rays vs Yankee Preview: Jordan Montgomery Makes MLB Debut

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Rays bats look to take on crafty lefty in MLB debut.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays are coming off a game in which Michael Pineda’s slider was filthy. They were on the wrong end of a perfect game until Evan Longoria ripped a slider that got too much height down the left field line in the seventh inning. Any chance of winning the game was, however, squashed with an eighth inning to forget for the Rays and their fans.

The Rays look to even up the series against a pitcher making his MLB debut. The Yankees announced they would call up left handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery to take the start Wednesday afternoon. The Yankees originally planned to run a four man rotation to start the season, but two uninspiring outings by Masahiro Tanaka made the Yankees change their plans.

Starting Pitchers

Blake Snell

The Rays will send out a young left handed pitcher of their own in Blake Snell. Snell is coming off a start that was back and forth. He went through two stretches where he couldn’t find the zone. He ended up fighting through a career high 6.2 innings pitched but allowed five runs of which four were earned.

Getting a solid outing of Snell is important to not put the bullpen in a bad spot. They are rested following the off day, but they play 15 straight thereafter. Wrecking the bullpen on day one could snowball over the next two weeks.

Jordan Montgomery

Montgomery was a fourth round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft out of the University of South Carolina. He has put up impressive results while being fast tracked through the minors. Last season he put up a 2.19 ERA and 2.91 FIP split between AA and AAA. Montgomery struck out 22.7% of batters while walking 7.7%.

Montgomery was ranked the 13th best prospect in the Yankees system according to the 2017 Baseball America Prospect Handbook. According to Baseball America, “Montgomery’s 88-92 mph fastball won’t blow away hitters, but the angle on the pitch produced by his large frame helps mitigate the lack of velocity. Montgomery complements his fastball with a fringe-average changeup in the low-80s and an average 12-to-6 curveball in the high 70s.”

Lineups

Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Souza, Jr. RF

Kevin Kiermaier CF

Evan Longoria 3B

Rickie Weeks, Jr. 1B

Corey Dickerson DH

Derek Norris C

Daniel Robertson 2B

Tim Beckham SS

Peter Bourjos LF

New York Yankees

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Aaron Hicks LF

Matt Holliday DH

Chris Carter 1B

Starlin Castro 2B

Chase Headley 3B

Aaron Judge RF

Kyle Higashioka C

Pete Kozma SS