Jordan Montgomery has been a great addition to the St. Louis Cardinals’ rotation, and recently threw shade at the New York Yankees for their usage of him.
On a recent episode of the “R2C2” podcast hosted by CC Sabathia and Ryan Ruocco, Montgomery was candid about what it was like to pitch as a Yankee.
"“I was always worried about getting booed off the mound in New York. The pinstripes are heavy. Not everyone can handle it. I feel like I handled it OK. I could’ve been better, but there was a lot of things going into that I guess. But here [in St. Louis], I’m just being myself and pitching the way I want to. I guess the fans have kind of embraced me so far.”"
Montgomery is not the first former Yankee to find success since leaving the Bronx this season. Joey Gallo was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the deadline and was awful during his Yankee tenure, and appears to be turning his career around.
Montgomery was a good pitcher for the Yankees, but he has been on another level since coming over to St. Louis. In 7 starts, Montgomery is 5-0 with a 1.45 ERA in 43.1 innings of work. One big reason for this success has been his fastball usage, something the Yankees would not allow him to do.
"“I didn’t really have much faith in my heater at the Yankees. I had been told that it wasn’t that good compared to my other pitches and if I was gonna get hit, it was gonna be on a curveball or changeup, which isn’t how you can pitch.So if I got two strikes on a guy, he was probably auto-taking because I was gonna throw a curveball or a changeup. … I’m throwing my fastball in two-strike counts, I’m throwing anything in any count now, so it’s definitely opened up.”"
The 29-year old is not the first pitcher to come to St. Louis and find new success after working with their coaches and catcher Yadier Molina. Last season, Jon Lester, J.A. Happ, and Wade Leblanc all found resurgences upon coming to St. Louis. This season, Jose Quintana and Chris Stratton have improved since being dealt to the Cardinals.
Montgomery did praise New York as an organization though, so there is no bad blood between the player and organization, but it is clear that Montgomery has found a better home here in St. Louis. He already has fans thinking about his long-term future with the club, and should be a big part of the St. Louis rotation in the postseason.