As Jordan Blackmon Montgomery prepares for his first Major League start later today, the Shattered Dreams Award must reside with reliever Tyler Webb. Webb had been selected in the Rule 5 Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates last December. As a lefty, he stood a decent chance of making the Pirates roster. His Spring numbers for the Pirates were legit. In 13 innings pitched over the course of 8 games, he did allow 13 hits and 4 runs (2.77 ERA), but he walked only one and struck out 11. However, he lost the roster battle to former Yankee (and fellow left-hander) Wade LeBlanc and was returned to the Yankees organization.
Back with the Yankees and not on the 40-man roster, Webb was assigned to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
On Sunday, in the second game of a double header with the Buffalo Bisons, Webb replaced starter Joe Mantiply for the RailRiders with two outs and two on in the bottom of third inning. He struck out Rowdy Tellez to end the threat. So far, so good. The next inning started nicely, with the RailRiders nursing a 3-0 lead, as Webb struck out the first batter. Then, unfortunately, the wheels came off. When Webb was pulled from the game after two outs in the bottom of the fourth, he had allowed six singles and a double. The Rail Riders had scored 6 runs to take the lead. Webb did strike out the last batter he faced (Rudy Tellez for a second time). So, for one inning of work, recording all outs by strikeout, the 6 runs left Webb with an ERA of 54.00. Oddly enough, he wasn’t the loser as the RailRiders tied the game in the top of the fifth. His replacement, Tyler Jones, took the loss by allowing three Bison runs over the next couple of innings. It must be a horrible feeling to stand on the cusp of making a Major League roster, only to see your dream die and then you subsequently get shellacked in the minor leagues. At 26 going on 27, Webb is not going to get too many more opportunities. Performances like Sunday will not exactly open any doors, except for the one leading out of baseball. Hopefully, he’ll be more effective next time around and will be ready the next time he gets the call to The Show. Otherwise, it’s nothing but shattered dreams, shattered dreams…
Credit: Pete G. Wilcox, Times Leader
So far, the only quality starts thrown by Yankees pitchers are pitchers who stand tall on the mound (6’6” or greater). We’re on a roll with two consecutive quality “tall” starts. Sunday belonged to CC Sabathia (6’6”) with 6 innings of work and two earned runs (three total) even if he didn’t get the decision, and Monday featured the near perfect game by Michael Pineda (6’7”). He went 7 2/3 innings, allowing only one run. Jordan Montgomery (6’6”) looks to continue the “basketball pitcher” streak today. If Montgomery struggles, perhaps Dellin Betances (6’8”) steps in to assist. I have to admit that I kinda feel like Ronald Torreyes trying to high five Aaron Judge with this pitching staff. When Aroldis Chapman is brought in behind these guys, it must seem like Tyrion Lannister following Jamie Lannister. Or me chasing after Aroldis.
I am all for whatever edge the “downward angle” brings for Montgomery. This is an exciting start and it is one that I am hopeful is very successful. I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a Yankee-born pitcher since Andy Pettitte.
According to Forbes Magazine, the New York Yankees are the most valuable MLB franchise, worth an estimated $3.7 billion. The Los Angeles Dodgers are second, trailing the Yankees by nearly a billion dollars ($2.75 billion). The others in the “billion dollars behind” category are the Boston Red Sox ($2.7 billion), Chicago Cubs ($2.675 billion), and the San Francisco Giants ($2.65 billion). I have no problem thinking of a billion reasons why the Yankees are better than the rest of Baseball. Now the proof is in the pudding. But as much as I love the Yankees, I would seriously have to consider selling the team if my name was Steinbrenner.
Happy Retirement to former Yankees outfielder Brennan Boesch. Boesch was a decent platoon outfielder for a few seasons with the Detroit Tigers at the start of his career. He played in 23 games with the Yankees during the 2013 season until his release in July of that year. During his brief Yankees career, he batted .275 (14-for-51) with 3 HR’s and 8 RBI’s. After his release by the Yankees, he subsequently played for the Los Angeles Angels and Cincinnati Reds. Last year, he was in the Boston Red Sox organization at the AAA Level, but missed the majority of the season with a broken wrist. He was unable to get a spring invite from a Major League team this year. Boesch is a player I liked and hoped would succeed but it wasn’t meant to be. I wish him the very best in his post-playing career.
Credit: David Richard, USA TODAY Sports
Happy Wednesday! Let’s get a win today!