The box score on Mike Montgomery‘s second rehab outing wasn’t as appealing as in his first, but the only number the lefty was really concerned with was how many pitches he got in. Rehab outings are more about just facing live competition and working out any kinks that set in over a period of inactivity, so Montgomery was successful in that regard.
He allowed three runs on three hits (one home run) and a walk with three strikeouts over four innings for the Tennessee Smokies Monday afternoon. There were some control issues, as only 25 of his 42 pitches went for strikes, but Montgomery said after the game that he was encouraged by the outing.
“Felt good,” Montgomery told Smokies broadcaster Mick Gillispie. “Thought I did a lot of really good things, kind of built off my last outing and, yeah, I was pretty happy with it. Efficient, throwing strikes, kind of working on some things mechanically.
“From what I wanted to get done today, I thought it was really good.”
Montgomery headed to the bullpen to throw a few more pitches after he was removed from the game because the Cubs wanted him to stretch out to 50-55 pitches. That should be more than enough to have him ready to return to the big league staff, and the fact that he was willing and able to put in the extra work says he’s 100% healthy.
“Yeah, head back to Chicago tonight and see what tomorrow has in store,” Montgomery said about his next steps. “I don’t know what the plan is yet, but we’ll go back there and see what they want to do.”
Though he admitted that there were still some things to tighten up and that he’d gotten lazy with some pitches late in his outing, Montgomery reiterated that the most important thing was feeling good and being healthy. Getting him back and pitching at a high level would be a huge boon to a Cubs bullpen that has been anything but consistent this season.
And with the schedule ramping up in intensity as off days grow fewer and further between, the lefty long man is going to be leaned on to eat some innings and maybe make a start or three. Barring an unexpected setback, it seems like that Monty will be activated by the end of the Dodgers series.