Amongst Aaron Boone’s top priorities this season is managing a pitching staff that many believe will be the key to making a legitimate run towards a 28th World Series title in 2021.
On Tuesday, he got a first look at starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery in-game action as he started the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in which the southpaw surrendered a run on two hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
“We’ll keep an eye on his pitch count and his workload,” Boone said of Montgomery. “Continuing to build off, certainly not only last year but the start of a really good camp coming off a good winter. His stuff has been really good and it’s continuing to command the strike zone with his fastball.
“He’s done a good job here early working to all the quadrants. He’s mixing in his cutter, he’s pitching up with his 4-seam fastball, down with the 2-seamer.”
Montgomery is expected to be in the mix for the No. 4 starter’s role to start the season behind Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and Corey Kluber.
In the bullpen, the Yankees were originally expected to bring Chad Green to Sarasota for Tuesday’s game against Baltimore, listing him on the traveling roster, but he remained in Tampa instead.
The decision tipped Boone’s hand in how he’ll treat a majority of his headlining relievers, including Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton.
“Just trying to be a little wise and slow play our higher-leverage relievers as far as game action [this spring],” Boone said. “We’re trying to be mindful of all the things we talk about with our starting pitchers with innings and coming off of last season, we want to mindful of that with our relievers as well.
“There’s a good chance we might hold some of those guys back and keep them in controlled environments with live BP’s.
“With our high-leverage guys and their experience, I’m not too worried about them getting a number of spring training games. So I feel like as long as they’re building up properly and we can keep them in controlled environments, we’ll do that a little more this spring.”