Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Monty's Innings Limit; Bird Getting Closer; Sanchez Back as Starter

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Monty's Innings Limit; Bird Getting Closer; Sanchez Back as Starter

Article excerpt

TORONTO - Crowded out of the Yankees' rotation, Jordan Montgomery is at least a candidate to return in September, if a sixth starter is needed.

Until then, the club believes Montgomery's innings might be better managed as a starter with Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. "We're going to shorten some outings down there, just to cut back a little bit," said manager Joe Girardi.

Montgomery (7-6, 4.05 ERA) reached 115.2 innings after Saturday's sharp, five-inning performance (1 run, 3 hits, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts) at Cleveland. The rookie lefty's 2017 innings ceiling was roughly set at 180, and "we do have somewhat of a concern if he got over 180 innings, where he'd be (physically)," Girardi said.

Plus, "the innings are always a little more stressful here, so we decided we're going to cut him back a bit but keep him as a starter," Girardi said. The Yankees' recent trades for Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia also worked against Montgomery, who hasn't had any bullpen experience.

Montgomery was "disappointed" by the decision, but "I tried to reassure him it's because we really care about him," Girardi said. "We envision him being a starter here for a long time and we want to make sure we don't push him too hard. It's probably going to help him in the long run."

Bird getting closer

An upbeat Greg Bird believes he'll be able to begin a minor-league rehab assignment in about 10 days, which he said coincides with the organization's thinking. So, the lefty-swinging first baseman is confident he'll be available to impact the Yankees' stretch run.

"Right around the end of the next homestand, give or take a day or two," Bird said of the timeframe for starting on a rehab assignment, roughly a week from Friday. Following right ankle surgery to remove a bone growth, Bird said he feels "a big difference" since the procedure. …

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