Montgomery has adjusted his delivery during the offseason in an effort to have better pitch control, especially with his breaking ball, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Montgomery shortened his stride after talking with the team’s run prevention coordinator, Tommy Hottovy. Hottovy saw on video that Montgomery’s stride was longer in 2017 than it was in 2016, when the lefty had a breakout campaign for the Mariners before getting traded to the Cubs. “I was told my stride was longer on certain pitches, especially the curve,” Montgomery said. “I need that pitch sharp to get more swings and misses. That’s the age of baseball we’re getting into. I’ve been able to apply it this spring.” The 28-year-old is likely talented enough to start for most teams, but he’ll begin the year as a valuable long reliever in Chicago.