Jordan Montgomery’s steps before making his Diamondbacks debut

Mar 30, 2024, 8:08 AM | Updated: 9:04 am

Jordan Montgomery...

Jordan Montgomery #52 of the Texas Rangers pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Globe Life Field on September 02, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — It will take some time before Jordan Montgomery makes his Arizona Diamondbacks debut after agreeing to terms on a contract on Friday.

The veteran left-handed starting pitcher was optioned to Triple-A Reno after missing spring training, where he is scheduled to make three starts before joining the big league club.

Montgomery said during his introductory press conference his target date is April 19 at the San Francisco Giants.

“I did everything I could to be prepared,” Montgomery said. “I had a feeling no team was gonna let me just go out and throw five innings like I was prepared for. So, I got up to 75 pitches, five innings twice.”

He faced live hitters in Miami at his agent Scott Boras’ training facility and threw in his hometown of Sumter, South Carolina.

Montgomery is coming off a career-high 188.2 innings last year between the St. Louis Cardinals and Rangers with 31 tacked on during the postseason with Texas.

“We planned it into my offseason program to kind of take the first month of what I usually would do and cut that in half, a little more focus on rest and recovery instead of building the arm back up,” Montgomery said. “I’m trusting in the back end that will get where it needs to get.”

The D-backs in the meantime have a rotation of Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, Tommy Henry, Brandon Pfaadt and Ryne Nelson to start the year. Eduardo Rodriguez is on the 15-day injured list with a lat strain but is not expected to miss much time.

Rodriguez started tossing up to 60 feet this week with plans to throw a bullpen next. Manager Torey Lovullo said he doesn’t think Rodriguez will beat Montgomery back to the big leagues but he didn’t want to give a specific timeline.

Montgomery’s trip to Reno will involve more than a focus on his pitch count as he missed a spring training’s worth of instruction with new coaches.

“(The plan) will include games and then (pitcher fielding practice), throwing to bases,” Lovullo said. “We don’t have anything very complicated, but we have a system that’s in place when it comes to holding runners on and pickoff stuff. The simple stuff that looks easy to the common fan.

“Throwing the baseball to second base to start a double play, covering first base on a 3-1 ground ball, those are things that we want to make sure his legs are in shape for. Those quick twitch, fast movements, we got to check those boxes and he has a plan in place to get all that done.”

The veterans joining the team will leave some decisions for the front office regarding Henry and Nelson after both making the team after Rodriguez’s injury.

It’s a good problem to have, but Lovullo said no decisions have been made on that front this early.

“I feel like we stack up with anybody rotation-wise,” Montgomery said. “I’m excited to get my games in and join the team.”

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