DETROIT -- Frankie Montas has impressed out of the bullpen and now he’ll get his first chance to start on Wednesday afternoon.
Fifteen combined innings from the starters in Monday’s doubleheader paved the way for the White Sox rookie to make his first major league start in the team’s series finale against the Detroit Tigers. Ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the organization by MLB.com, Montas earned a spot on the Southern League All-Star this season and finished with a 2.97 ERA in 112 innings at Double-A Birmingham. He has a 1.13 ERA in eight innings for the White Sox, but those have all come in low-leverage relief outings.
“That becomes a whole different thing of going out and warming up,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s done a great job of being in the pen, being ready to go and coming in and throwing strikes. That’s the biggest thing. There’s been progression every time he’s gone out, which is great to see. It’s time to see him start again.”
The White Sox don’t expect Montas to pitch deep into the game because all of his recent work has been in relief. He threw 65 pitches in a three-inning appearance on Sept. 13 but hasn’t started since Aug. 26.
Montas looks forward to the possibility of facing a lineup featuring Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. He said he doesn’t think he’ll be nervous because he’s already been in the majors for three weeks and has confidence in his ability.
“I was a starter before and I’ve been in the bullpen here,” Montas said. “I feel like it’s the same, even though it’s the big league level. I feel like I’ve got good stuff and it’s going to work.”
The team refrained from announcing Montas as the starter until Tuesday because they needed to make sure they could weather the storm of Monday’s doubleheader. Jeff Samardzija delivered nine innings in the first game and Erik Johnson pitched six more in the nightcap, which has Montas, who pitched a scoreless inning Sunday in Cleveland, fresh.
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“Just how yesterday went, you are able to put him in there and get him a start and see how he can do,” Ventura said. “He’s probably not going to be able to go that deep into the game. We get three or four hopefully out of him and depending on how the innings go, see how he’s doing.
“Get him a start and get him on his road to see if he’s a starter.”
The White Sox also announced their starters for their four-game series against the New York Yankees. Chris Sale starts Thursday and Carlos Rodon, John Danks and Jeff Samardzija will follow him in a series that concludes Sunday.