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Montgomery to stay in rotation while Yu is out

Cubs won't shift to six-man starting staff when Darvish returns from injury
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

NEW YORK -- As of now, Mike Montgomery is staying in the Cubs' rotation and manager Joe Maddon said they won't consider a six-man rotation when Yu Darvish comes off the disabled list.

Montgomery gave up one run over six innings on Saturday night against the Mets and the Cubs needed another five innings from reliever Luke Farrell in a 14-inning 7-1 win. In Montgomery's two starts, he's been charged with one run on four hits over 11 2/3 innings.

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NEW YORK -- As of now, Mike Montgomery is staying in the Cubs' rotation and manager Joe Maddon said they won't consider a six-man rotation when Yu Darvish comes off the disabled list.

Montgomery gave up one run over six innings on Saturday night against the Mets and the Cubs needed another five innings from reliever Luke Farrell in a 14-inning 7-1 win. In Montgomery's two starts, he's been charged with one run on four hits over 11 2/3 innings.

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"I'm just happy he's pitching as well as he is," Maddon said of Montgomery. "I know he is. We haven't seen him that good. We haven't seen him that good with that many consecutive innings. We've seen him good but this is as high a level as we've seen him pitch."

Montgomery has made it no secret that he wants to start. In 18 relief appearances this season, he has a 5.33 ERA, giving up 15 earned runs over 25 1/3 innings.

"What it really comes down to is throwing strikes," Montgomery said. "I've been a starter my whole career. To me, it's natural to have that mindset."

The lefty got off to an impressive start in Saturday's 7-1 win over the Mets. In the first inning, he threw 11 pitches, 10 for strikes. Montgomery admitted he felt as if he were rushing in the second but was able to get back in his rhythm.

There's no timetable for Darvish's return from the disabled list. He's sidelined with inflammation in his right triceps.

"With everybody healthy, [a six-man rotation] is probably not going to happen," Maddon said. "There's also ways if you want to give somebody a rest to insert a sixth starter."

That's something Maddon did with the Rays in the second half of the 2008 season with Alex Cobb. As for now, Montgomery is preparing for his next start, which will be Friday at Wrigley Field against the Pirates.

"That's the plan now until they tell me otherwise," Montgomery said. "I had a good routine this last time and felt good physically."

• Catcher Chris Gimenez was ready Saturday night and early Sunday during the Cubs' marathon game in case he was needed to pitch. Gimenez has appeared in nine games, including six last season with the Twins, totaling five innings. Maddon was considering inserting Gimenez after the Cubs scored six runs in the 14th but didn't want him to get into trouble and then have closer Brandon Morrow deal with a stressful situation.

Gimenez does not warm up in the bullpen before he pitches.

"I don't want to take it that serious, and I don't mean that in a negative way," Gimenez said on Sunday. "I know I'm not a pitcher and I don't want to go down there and think, 'Oh, maybe I can throw hard.' I was literally praying that I didn't get in there with a tie game. I was mad at Joe when we got up by six that I didn't go in and I let him know. But I was praying I wasn't going to be in there in a tie game in the 15th."

• The Draft is Monday and the Cubs have picks No. 24, 62, 77 (compensation for Wade Davis) and 78 (compensation for Jake Arrieta) on the first day. It's the first time they have had four selections within the first 78 picks since 2012. That year, the Cubs selected Albert Almora Jr., Pierce Johnson, Paul Blackburn and Duane Underwood Jr.

The three-day 2018 Draft begins with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 5 p.m. CT on Monday. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 11:30 a.m. CT. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 11 a.m. CT.

Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

• After an off-day Monday, the Cubs play host to the Phillies for a three-game series and it will be Jake Arrieta's first series at Wrigley since leaving via free agency.

"Solid. Solid like a rock. He was that," Maddon said of the right-hander, who will not pitch in the series. "He always showed up, always posted, highly accountable. Uniquely conditioned and cartoonish stuff, the way the ball moves and the fastball movement, the slider. He can hit. He just cares. I consider him a good friend. To have the privilege of having managed him has made me better."

Javier Baez's 14th-inning, pinch-hit homer on Saturday night was his fifth career homer in the 12th inning or later, tied for fourth most in Major League history and surpassed only by Willie Mays (9), Albert Pujols (6) and Jack Clark (6).

Video: CHC@NYM: Baez belts a 2-run homer in the 14th

• On Monday, Maddon will host his first golf tournament in his hometown of Hazleton, Pa., to benefit the Hazleton Integration Project. Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is scheduled to participate in the charity event.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Mike Montgomery