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Jordan Montgomery Signs With Diamondbacks: Fantasy Baseball Outlook

MLB News - Fantasy Baseball Injury Updates

Well, it took the entire preseason, but the last big-name holdout of the MLB offseason has finally signed on with a new team. Left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a one-year, $25 million contract that has a second-year player option if the lefty makes at least 10 starts. 

The 31-year-old joins the team he helped defeat in the World Series last season for the Texas Rangers. He also joins a staff that remains mostly intact from 2023 and is headed by Zac Gallen, who finished third in NL Cy Young voting.

We'll look at what Montgomery brings to the table, check in on when he should debut, and ponder what his outlook is for fantasy baseball in 2024.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

What Does Jordan Montgomery Offer?

Montgomery is coming off a season in which he set a career high in innings (188 2/3) and a career low in ERA (3.20). He's not a power pitcher by any means, as his K% is just 34th percentile (21.4%), but he's able to limit the damage by having a low BB% (6.2%) and by inducing enough ground balls to tie for the seventh-most double plays in the league last season.

His fastball isn't overpowering at 93.3 mph, but he pairs it with one of the best curveballs in the game. Stuff+ on the curve was 116, Location+ was 108, and Pitching+ was 111.

 

How Does Montgomery Fit in With Diamondbacks?

The former fourth-round draft pick joins a rotation that includes the aforementioned Gallen, as well as Merrill Kelly, Brandon Pfaadt, and Ryne Nelson, all of whom have one thing in common: they are all right-handed pitchers.

The Diamondbacks signed veteran LHP Eduardo Rodriguez this offseason, too, but the oft-injured pitcher has already gone down with a lat strain and will open the season on the IL. He's been shut down from throwing until he's asymptomatic and likely debuts in late April at the earliest.

Currently, the D-backs have LHP Tommy Henry slotted into a rotation spot, but he has just 136 major league innings to his name. It carries a 4.57 ERA and 1.39 WHIP with it, so he'd presumably be a casualty once Montgomery debuts or Rodriguez returns.

 

Jordan Montgomery's 2024 Fantasy Baseball Outlook

Arizona is a decent landing spot in terms of run support, although it's a slight downgrade from Texas based on runs per game in 2023. The D-backs scored 4.58 R/game in 2023, while the Rangers boasted 5.46 R/game, which was behind only the Braves and the Dodgers. Nevertheless, and acknowledging the fact that he spent half of the season in St. Louis, Montgomery shouldn't have an issue coming close to or exceeding his won total from a season ago (10).

Montgomery is a veteran, so the fact he missed all of spring training may not be as important as it is for some of the youngsters. Assuming he'll need a small ramp-up where he faces live batters and assuming he'll need to get acclimated with his new pitching coaches, debuting the second or third week of the season seems likely.

With the season starting Thursday, there can't be too many of you still drafting, but for those who are, the southpaw has an NFBC ADP of 166, while RotoBaller ranks the lefty much higher -- at 133 overall. For teams that have already drafted, Montgomery should not be on the waiver wire as he'll provide good depth as an innings-eater who won't crush your ERA or WHIP.

While he's not a "strikeout pitcher," he should still get plenty of Ks with all of the innings he'll consume. ATC projections foresee a 9-8 record with a 3.86 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 15.3% K-BB%, and 141 strikeouts over 155 IP (26 GS). 



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