Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery takes Post readers behind the scenes as he tries to stay prepared for the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic. As told to Ken Davidoff.
Hello from Sumter, S.C., my hometown. I’ve been back here for almost three weeks, but if you had said I’ve been here for three months, I would have believed that, too.
I’m staying with my parents and my dog, Tuck, a golden retriever. “Tuck” is short for Kentucky, since my girlfriend, Mckenzie, is from there. She was trying to name him Cal, for John Calipari, the men’s basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, but I was pushing for something else, especially since Mckenzie and I both went to the University of South Carolina. I think he looks like a Tuck. Mckenzie is in Charleston, about an hour and 45 minutes from me, studying at the Medical University of South Carolina.
With my training, I’m trying to not do too much, but not do too little, either. It’s weird not knowing what to rev up for and staying where I’m at. I’ve been throwing a bullpen session every Monday and then playing catch on Wednesdays and Fridays. My workout partner is Charlie Barnes, a pitcher in the Twins’ system who also is from Sumter. We go to our high school, Sumter High, to use their mound.
I’ve been in touch with Aaron Boone and Matt Blake — they helped me figure out the throwing I’ve been doing — and our trainers will check up on me every other day to see how I’m feeling. Besides my throwing, I’ve been doing a lot of dead-lift (it’s the easiest exercise to do, and you use a lot of muscles for it), a lot of sprints (I’m trying to be explosive, and it’s something you can do outside), and some arm bands. I’m mixing it up.
Besides trying to stay in the best shape that I can and hanging out with my dog. I’m playing some video games, reading, and watching my 4-year-old niece who lives nearby ride a bike. She’s still got her training wheels on, but we’re working on it.
I’m in a Madden league with some of my teammates that’s not going well. I’m 0-4. I’m not a great Madden player. My team name is the Bengals, but I’ve got Big Ben Roethlisberger as my quarterback. I saw that recent photo of him sporting the huge beard, and I thought it was great. That’s got to be every Yankees player right now. I’ve got a little beard. I usually grow one in the offseason. It turns red. I’ll keep it short.
As for my reading, I’m currently reading “Beneath a Scarlet Sky,” by Mark Sullivan. It’s a good read. It’s real — it’s based on true events — but it’s a story, too. It’s the best of both worlds.
I was ready to rejoin the Yankees’ starting rotation, after missing most of the last two years because of Tommy John surgery. But I’m not feeling upset about this delay. It’s not about me. I can just keep working hard and stay strong, and nothing’s going to change. I’ll still be part of it whenever we get back. I’ll use this time to get even better. Show up that much stronger.
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I would urge fans that they need to take this seriously: Stay inside. Listen to what they’re saying. Do the social distancing. The fewer times you give your credit card to people and have them touching it, the better. It’s a crazy time. I know it’s hard and everybody misses baseball and life. Hopefully, the more we listen and social distance and stay inside, the better they can contain it and get it under control, and we can get back to our regular lives.