MESA, Ariz. - We haven't seen Mike Montgomery throw off a mound yet this spring, but that should be coming very soon.
The veteran southpaw was dealing with some shoulder stiffness at the start of camp and was slightly delayed because of that.
But Montgomery has been throwing on flat ground of late, including another session Wednesday that went well.
He said his arm feels "perfect" after the recent work and the plan from here is to throw a bullpen off the mound Friday. The Cubs will want him to go through a couple sessions on the mound and then a couple live bullpens against hitters before getting into a game, so Montgomery is behind schedule this spring, but not by much.
The 29-year-old said he initially felt the shoulder stiffness a couple weeks ago during a throwing session on his own. He said it wasn't a big deal and normally would've powered through it, but felt no need to push it before spring training even began.
It was just a matter of trying to do too much too soon, Montgomery said. He was excited and wanted to keep throwing because he loved the feel he had snapping off his curveball right at that moment, so wanted to keep getting more reps the same way hitters want to take swing after swing.
"This isn't like basketball, where you can take 1,000 shots in a row if you wanted to," Montgomery said.
The swingman is entering his fourth season in a Cubs uniform and is being counted on as a valuable piece of the pitching staff. He gave the Cubs a huge boost in the middle of last season, joining the rotation when Yu Darvish went down to injury.
Montgomery wound up making 19 starts and 19 relief appearances last year and was projected to start the season as the long guy in the bullpen and next man up in the rotation if injuries strike.