Mike Montgomery still has a lot to prove for the KC Royals, but his improvements at the end of 2019 give hope that he can figure it out for a rotation spot in 2020.
A third likely option for the KC Royals starting rotation in 2020 is Mike Montgomery. Montgomery, who was originally drafted by the Royals, came back to the team in a trade that saw veteran catcher Martin Maldanado off to the Chicago Cubs.
Montogomery played various roles for Chicago, seeing games as both a starter and a reliever. In 2019, he saw 20 games with the Cubs, all out of the bullpen. Montgomery became vocal about his desire to start games and felt he was at his best when he was starting. The Royals decided to give him a shot.
While he did see some struggles after coming to Kansas City, Montgomery improved in almost every aspect of his pitching from his first half of the season in Chicago, and over more than double the innings.
While in Chicago, Montgomery managed an ERA of 5.67 over 27 innings of relief, an FIP of 6.21, walks per 9 of 4.3, and a strikeouts per 9 of 6.0. In Kansas City, Montgomery started 13 games over 64 innings, held an ERA of 4.64, an FIP of 5.23, a walks per 9 of 3.0 and a strikeouts per 9 of 7.2.
While there are still some areas where he can continue to improve, the improved numbers he showed in going from reliving to starting are something that should be considered when deciding the rotation for 2020.
Montgomery proved that he could improve and that he had the stuff to be a starter. Now, with an offseason to work and spring training to prove what he has, he will likely be given the chance to start the season as a starter and become a part of the long term rotation.