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Despite postponement, Yankees still starting Jordan Montgomery on Tuesday

The Yankees' Jordan Montgomery pitches against the Tigers

The Yankees' Jordan Montgomery pitches against the Tigers in the first inning of a spring training game on March 6, 2018, in Lakeland, Fla. Credit: AP / John Raoux

Both the Yankees and Rays had an ace to play after Monday’s Yankee Stadium opener was postponed for a day because of snow. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash opted to put his on the table. Yankees manager Aaron Boone did not.

Both teams were coming off four games in four days and had their No. 5 starting option slated to go. In the Rays’ case, that was righthander Austin Pruitt, a relief pitcher by trade. The Yankees had lefthander and anointed fifth starter Jordan Montgomery written in. The postponement, however, gave each team the option of throwing its No. 1 starter on the traditional four days’ rest.

Cash opted to give the ball to Chris Archer on Tuesday. Boone consulted with pitching coach Larry Rothschild and then eschewed the option of skipping Montgomery and going with ace Luis Severino.

“Larry and I talked about possibly . . . that would put [Severino] on regular rest,” Boone said Monday. “We felt like this was built in for [Montgomery]. When we can give our guys those five [days] and keep Monty on his regular turn? We did consider it, but we decided we’re going Monty tomorrow.”

Montgomery was 2-2 with a 3.43 ERA in six spring training appearances (five starts) but hasn’t pitched with the big-league club since March 22, so it’s understandable that Boone wants to get him this start.

Tampa Bay has an unorthodox blueprint for its rotation because of injuries. The Rays are trying to go with a four-man rotation and use a collection of relievers when the schedule demands a fifth starter. Pruitt was to start that “bullpen game” on Monday. Now the Yankees will face Archer and Blake Snell in the series’ first two games.

Boone said the Rays called to tell him of their pitching change after the game was postponed. He seemed to understand that the Rays’ move has everything to do with the unusual blueprint.

“It’s interesting,” he said. “You understand where they are coming from a little bit.”

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