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.
"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."
Carrie Muskat MLB.com