Mariners shift Mike Montgomery to the bullpen as insurance

AP Photo/Stephen Brashear
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With lefty reliever Charlie Furbush still battling soreness in his left shoulder, Mariners manager Scott Servais has decided to shift southpaw Mike Montgomery to the bullpen as insurance just in case Furbush isn’t ready when the regular season begins. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times has the report. Furbush hasn’t thrown off a mound in nearly a week.

Montgomery, 26, made 16 starts last season and flashed good stuff at times, like when he threw back-to-back shutouts at the end of June. Overall, he compiled a 4.60 ERA with a 64/37 K/BB ratio over 90 innings.

Montgomery is a bit of an odd candidate for the bullpen, as he displayed a reverse platoon split last season. That means that same-handed hitters performed better than opposite-handed hitters, which bucks the trend. Lefties compiled an .841 OPS against him while righties had a .725 mark. That being said, the sample is relatively small at 100 and 295 plate appearances, respectively. Montgomery, however, also isn’t particularly great at inducing swinging strikes with only a 16 percent strikeout rate last season.