Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Montgomery in race for Cubs' fifth starter job

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs left-hander Mike Montgomery logged two innings and gave up one run with a strikeout in Thursday's 8-6 loss to the Mariners, as the competition for the fifth starter spot continues.

"Right now, it's just about health," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Thursday's Cactus League contest at Sloan Park. "They all look really good, they've all been throwing the ball well."

View Full Game Coverage

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs left-hander Mike Montgomery logged two innings and gave up one run with a strikeout in Thursday's 8-6 loss to the Mariners, as the competition for the fifth starter spot continues.

"Right now, it's just about health," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Thursday's Cactus League contest at Sloan Park. "They all look really good, they've all been throwing the ball well."

View Full Game Coverage

Montgomery and Brett Anderson are being considered for the fifth spot, although Anderson may need to stay in the rotation because of his back. He missed nearly all of last season following back surgery one year ago in March. Anderson gave up two runs on five hits in two innings of relief after Montgomery exited on Thursday.

Maddon reportedly to receive salary bump

"Anderson has been more of a starter, but 'Monty' has been amenable or able to relieve," Maddon said. "We'll see how it plays out. To have those two guys competing for the No. 5 spot is a nice problem to have. Both could be solid -- not No. 5 starters, but way better than that [on another team].

"When you look at those names, and you go [Jon Lester], [John Lackey], [Jake Arrieta], [Kyle Hendricks] and then go Anderson and Montgomery, that's pretty solid stuff."

Worth noting
Munenori Kawasaki is popular in the clubhouse. He speaks Spanish with the young Latin players, he always has some odd gadget in his locker, and he's very energetic.

"He's a really good player," Maddon said of the infielder. "He just happens to be very funny, too."

The Cubs are looking at options for the bench, and Kawasaki is a possibility, although he is not on the 40-man roster.

Kawasaki stayed with the Cubs through the playoffs, and Maddon said he was doing tee work before Game 7 of the World Series.

"That's kind of entertaining, also," Maddon said. "He's that guy and fits in well and we all love being around him."

Casey Kelly gave up a solo home run over two innings in a "B" game for the Cubs against the Angels early Thursday. Victor Caratini hit a two-run homer for the Cubs.

• With David Ross retired, who takes over as the leader in the clubhouse? Anthony Rizzo has the longest tenure among Cubs players, but Maddon doesn't want the first baseman to change, saying "just keep being Rizzo, keep growing as a human being and as a baseball player."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chicago Cubs