The Cubs are considering having left-handers Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery share the fifth spot in their rotation because they “have not been satisfactorily stretched out,” manager Joe Maddon told Carrie Muskat of MLB.com on Saturday. Injury issues have long beset Anderson, who only notched 11 1/3 innings as a member of the Dodgers last season, while Montgomery has only gone past the 150-frame plateau twice in a professional season. Montgomery last accomplished that in 2015, when the then-Mariner split his season between the Triple-A level and the majors. Maddon opined that Montgomery, 27, has “really high-quality stuff” and could rack up “10 to 15” wins per year.
More from the National League:
- Injury woes continue for Mets first baseman Lucas Duda, who is dealing with hip stiffness after missing most of last season with a stress fracture in his lower back, relays James Wagner of the New York Times. Duda received a cortisone shot in each hip Friday and then sat out the Mets’ game on Saturday. Manager Terry Collins noted that the Mets are “very fortunate” that it’s still early in camp, which gives Duda more time to heal and should enable the club to make in-house contingency plans at first base. Second baseman Neil Walker and right fielder Jay Bruce could be among the Mets’ fallback options. Walker has never played first, but he took ground balls at the position Saturday, and Collins wants Bruce to get some work there next week. “We’ve just got to protect ourselves,” said Collins.
- Bud Black is the latest Rockies manager to try to solve the mystery of Coors Field, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick writes. The troubles with Coors Field generally begin with finding good, consistent pitching. “On top of talent, we need mentally tough SOBs,” says Black. “It might get a little bit unsightly when it pops up on the scoreboard or on TV. We have to have guys who will overlook that individual line.” Crasnick notes that the Rockies enter the season with an experienced bullpen that features newcomers Greg Holland and Mike Dunn, and their young starting pitchers (including Jon Gray, Chad Bettis, Tyler Anderson, Tyler Chatwood, and either Jeff Hoffman or German Marquez) gives them hope. GM Jeff Bridich says various types of pitchers can work well in Coors Field, but strong makeup can be a key. “We don’t dwell on it, but we address it openly — this misnomer that success can’t be had at altitude from a pitcher’s perspective,” he says. “We’re 25 years old now as an organization, and there are all different types of pitchers who’ve had success.”
- Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak is optimistic that newly signed outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia will reach the majors this season, per the Associated Press. “In terms of skillset, I just feel like I would describe him more as a five-tool player, so from a defensive standpoint, above average, from an offensive standpoint, I think there could be some power,” Mozeliak said when assessing Garcia on Saturday. Garcia, a native of Cuba, mentioned through an interpreter that “other offers” were on the table, but he accepted the Cardinals’ $2.5MM proposal “because of the tradition and because it is such a wonderful organization and I knew that I was going to identify with the team and fit in.”