KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Aaron Boone put an end to a camp competition that never really was, naming Jordan Montgomery as the Yankees’ fifth starter on Friday.
It wasn’t quite dog-bites-man, but it didn’t qualify as much of a surprise.
Montgomery, 25, coming off a season in which he went 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA in 29 starts and finished sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting, entered camp as an overwhelming favorite to be in the rotation.
Essentially, he had to report in shape, which he did, and not completely fall apart on the mound, which he hasn’t. He has a 1.04 ERA in three outings and has struck out 11 and walked four in 8 2⁄3 innings.
“We’re really excited not only about the year he put together last year but where we think he can continue to go,” Boone said. “When I look at him, I look at him as one of our starters.”
Green in bullpen
Though he has made two exhibition starts, the Yankees never planned to have Chad Green anywhere but back in the bullpen when the regular season started. Boone made that official Friday, too.
“Obviously as elite as it got last year,” Boone said. “We’ll start to work him back into that role.”
Green, who often pitched multiple innings in his appearances, posted a 1.40 ERA in 40 games last season. He struck out 103 in 69 innings.
Progress with Frazier/Ellsbury
Boone said it was “another positive step” Friday for Clint Frazier (concussion) and Jacoby Ellsbury (right oblique). “Hopefully maybe this weekend we’ll start to really introduce them to some baseball activities,” Boone said. “But we’re not quite there yet.”
The Yankees optioned righthanders Albert Abreu and Jonathan Loaisiga to Class A Tampa and infielder Thairo Estrada to Double-A Trenton. Abreu had an emergency appendectomy just as camp started and Estrada is still recovering from a gunshot wound suffered in late January. Loaisiga is an under-the-radar prospect whom the Yankees, and plenty of opposing team scouts, are excited about.