Mike Montgomery Sharp in First Rehab Start as New Father

Mike Montgomery was supposed to make his first rehab start Tuesday in South Bend, but something a little more important came up to push that back. His wife, Stephanie, gave birth to the couple’s first child, Max Michael Montgomery, Tuesday morning. With mom and baby doing well, the lefty make the quick trip to Northern Indiana to toss a couple innings.

Great Lakes Loons hitters stood no chance against Montgomery, who now has a bevvy of magical dad powers to go along with his formidable skills and experience on the mound. He needed only 27 pitches (19 strikes) to zip through two innings as he allowed one hit and struck out four with no walks.

“I felt good, a little rusty, I hadn’t thrown a ball in two days,” Montgomery said after the outing. “But, you know, it’s fun to get back out there and I hadn’t pitched in a game in about two weeks now and it’s just get things right and get things feeling good.

“I think it was a good step and it’s just see how it recovers and then move forward. I kinda like where I’m at.”

The Cubs may wait a couple days to make sure Montgomery’s arm responds well, but it’s easy to imagine him being activated this weekend. That likely means a return to Triple-A Iowa for lefty Kyle Ryan, who has pitched pretty well in replacement duty. After a debut outing that saw him give up a pair of runs, Ryan has gone 3.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

Getting Montgomery back healthy provides a big boost to the bullpen, not that the Cubs have needed their relievers much lately. I joke about the dad powers, but you have to think the new father will be a little more relaxed moving forward. While the Montgomerys were obviously very excited about the birth of their first child, there’s no small measure of nervousness and anticipation involved in the process.

Whether and how much that may have contributed to Monty’s early struggles can’t be quantified, but I’d be willing to bet things go a lot more smoothly for him once he returns. Of course, the bar has been set pretty low by a 16.88 ERA and a 6.75 HR/9 mark. Getting those nerves calmed should help him establish a better feel for his stuff and solidify the ‘pen that much further.

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