CLEVELAND — It appears that Jordan Montgomery is indeed the odd man out.
The Yankees optioned the 24-year-old rookie lefty to Triple-A Scranton following Sunday’s 8-1 victory over the Indians at Progressive Field.
Montgomery, who emerged out of nowhere during spring training to win the final rotation spot, is 7-6 with a 4.05 ERA in 21 starts. On Saturday, he earned a no-decision despite striking out seven over five innings of one-run ball.
The Yankees recently acquired both Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia prior to the trade deadline, and GM Brian Cashman indicated at the time of the trades that both were brought in to be starters.
The Bombers will go with CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Gray on Tuesday-Thursday in Toronto. Luis Severino has emerged as the ace of the staff, owns a 4-0 record and a 0.83 ERA in his last five starts (32.2 IP, 3 ER, 38 K). Severino struck out nine and allowed one run over 6.2 innings on Sunday.
Joe Girardi had said he did not want to go with a six-man rotation on a permanent basis.
Montgomery has thrown 115.2 innings this season. His career-high is 152 — including minor-league playoffs — last season.
The Yankees have not publicly disclosed an innings limit for Montgomery in 2017. He certainly could rejoin the rotation if there is an injury.
Aaron Judge blasted his 35th homer — a three-run shot. He trails Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton by one for the MLB lead.
“The past couple weeks I’ve been getting off my approach, and when you get off your approach in the major leagues, people will expose you,” Judge said. “If you’re not 100 percent locked in your approach or caught in-between on certain pitches or locations, you’ve got to be 100 percent on top of your game.”
Greg Bird (ankle) hit in the batting cage on Sunday. He hopes to hit on the field next week and further advance his baseball activities, with a minor-league rehab assignment to follow. … Aaron Hicks (oblique) went 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and a walk at Triple-A Scranton.
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