(WTNH)- The New York Yankees’ rookie Jordan Montgomery is getting used to his new surroundings.
“When you play in NY you gotta play your best. That’s what they expect, if you don’t you’ll probably get booed off the mound.”
But so far the left-handed pitcher has given fans many more reasons to cheer than to ‘boo.’ And, with each passing start, the confidence of the South Carolina native continues to grow.
Montgomery has 6 wins in 18 big league starts this season, and one of the best chase percentages in the league. Though his last two outings have been more difficult, he says that struggling is simply part of the growing process.
“It’s tough doing it early here, being a rookie and controlling the mound and having a presence. It’s what I’ve been trying to do- settle in and having a presence out there and be aggressive.”
Pettitte and Montgomery are said to have talked and exchanged text messages.
“Real easy guy to talk to, he’s a southern guy just like me, hes doing everything he can do to help me and rooting for me. It was good to sit down and talk to him and pick his brain, having him and CC two of the best left handers in the game– def good guys to talk to.”
CC Sabathia commented on Montgomery’s performance. “I just see that he knows how to pitch, he’s always one pitch of getting out of any jam. He’s very confident and works hard, I think he’ll be around for a long time” he said.
Sabathia isn’t the only one impressed with Montgomery. Al Leiter, another lefty who pitched for 19 years in the major leagues, says the 24-year-old has the tools to be a front end starter for years to come.
“When I look at Jordan Montgomery I see a guy who has to locate, has a big curve ball, kid can pitch comes at a crazy angle, I think what hitters see is shock velocity” Al Leiter shared.
Montgomery is comfortable throwing various pitches, and has added a solid slider to his repertoire this past year.
“I’m trying to learn my body more now and I can pick and choose when I want to rev it up I guess. The more I think about being too perfect is when I start missing off the plate or down. Honestly trying to be up there and compete and have the mentality I’m gonna throw this by you and trust my mechanics and the ball should go where it’s suppose to.”
When Montgomery was asked what the biggest culture shock has been while playing in New York, he responded:
“How fast everyone moves, everyone always has somewhere to be and i;m kind of just going through the motions not in any hurry, get bumped and shoved an i’m like dang man.”