LAKELAND, Fla. -- There was no over-the-top celebration after Jordan Montgomery recorded the final outs of a combined Grapefruit League no-hitter on Friday afternoon, but the real reward may still be yet to come.
The left-hander has piqued the Yankees' curiosity, with his stint in camp lasting longer than anticipated. Manager Joe Girardi said the organization now plans to give Montgomery a start following his excellent four innings in a 3-0 victory over the Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
"It makes me feel that I'm here for a reason and that they want me here," Montgomery said. "I'm just going to keep trying to get better and keep working hard and keep carrying myself the right way."
A fourth-round selection by the Yankees in the 2014 Draft out of the University of South Carolina, the 24-year-old went 14-5 with a 2.13 ERA in 25 starts between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year, going 5-1 with an 0.97 ERA in six International League outings.
Over 10 1/3 spring innings, Montgomery has permitted four earned runs (3.48 ERA) on seven hits, walking two and striking out five. He said that Friday "definitely" marked his best outing, and that he is settling in.
"We like him a lot. We've said that all along," Girardi said. "I thought he had a good breaking ball today. Used some changeups today. He's got really good downward angle, which we like. He's different from a lot of lefties."
Long-term, the Yankees view Montgomery as a starter, though Girardi said that he would be open to considering Montgomery to provide distance out of the bullpen. Montgomery said that while he has been a starter his whole life, the goal is to get to the Major Leagues any way possible.
"It's all just getting outs, whether it's the first inning or the seventh or the fourth," Montgomery said. "I'm just going to try and throw strikes and get outs. It doesn't matter to me."