The New York Yankees have already been eliminated from playoff contention. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to play for in what is left of the regular season.
They will use the remaining five games (two against the Toronto Blue Jays and two vs. the Kansas City Royals) to keep taking a close look at the young players such as Oswald Peraza (who is red-hot) and Austin Wells, not to mention Jhony Brito, too.
Additionally, they could start mapping out their offseason and potential additions that are currently on their roster. This is the specific case of Frankie Montas, a pending free agent.
Montas is considered a trade bust by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Since he arrived in the Bronx before the 2022 deadline, he has alternated long stints on the IL with poor performance (he had a 6.35 ERA with the Bombers last year).
It was evident he wasn’t physically right, and he ended up undergoing right labrum cleanup surgery in February. As a result, he hasn’t pitched in 2023 but might be able to make a start this weekend if all goes well, according to recent reports.
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The Yankees will be able to see where Montas is at over the weekend
Yankees insider Bryan Hoch says Montas is “in play” to pitch about three innings this weekend against the Royals in the last series of the season. Not only will it be a moral victory for Montas, who battled hard to get to this point, but it will also help the team (and other squads, too) have a better understanding of where his arm is at the moment.
The right-hander threw two scoreless innings last Saturday in a minor league rehab game with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, averaging 94.5 mph with his fastball.
He is usually close to 96-97 when fully healthy, but he could get there with more mound work in the offseason.
If it’s a low-risk signing where the money guarantee isn’t too large, there is no reason why the Yankees shouldn’t consider Montas when he hits free agency after the World Series. The animosity that fans feel towards the pitcher is understandable but ultimately unfair since we are talking about injuries that limited his performance and availability.
This is a pitcher capable of finishing with an ERA in the high 2.00s or low 3.00s when fully healthy, and now that he has gone under the knife, he could theoretically return to form in 2024. The weekend outing will be very telling regarding his potential future in the league and with the team.