The New York Yankees‘ decision to trade several prospects to the Oakland A’s for Frankie Montas at last year’s trade deadline was made with the expectation that Montas would be a key addition to an intimidating starting rotation featuring Gerrit Cole and eventually Carlos Rodon. Unfortunately, Montas’s time with the Yankees has been anything but smooth.
Struggles, Injuries, and Surgery
Montas’s tenure with the Yankees has been marked by struggles, injuries, and shoulder surgery, effectively sidelining him for the current season. However, there are indications that the 30-year-old right-hander could yet play a pivotal role in this season’s pitching staff.
The Potential Comeback: An Update on Montas’s Rehab
Max Goodman of NJ Advance Media recently offered an update on Montas’s rehab progress, hinting that Montas could still prove to be a critical asset for the Yankees this season. Yankees Pitching Coach Matt Blake told NJ Advance Media, “There’s a long way to go between now and then, but for being in June and where we are, I do think we’re making the necessary progress for him to be in the mix this year.”
Montas’s Performance: A Retrospect
Last season, Montas made eight starts for the Yankees, delivering a 1-3 record with a 6.35 ERA and 33 strikeouts.
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Role in the Current Pitching Staff: A Challenge
Montas’s potential role in the Yankees’ pitching staff, if he were fit, is notable, especially as Luis Severino and Nestor Cortes have endured lengthy IL stints, and Carlos Rodon has yet to pitch as a Yankee. However, finding a consistent spot for Montas within the current pitching staff poses a challenge. Rodon is on the verge of returning, while Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German have displayed commendable performance over the past month.
Montas’s Return: Starter or Relief Pitcher?
Blake suggested that Montas could make his comeback as a relief pitcher, spotlighting his fastball-splitter combo as a potential weapon out of the bullpen. Nevertheless, the ultimate goal remains to have Montas return as a starting pitcher, which prompts the question of how this could impact Schmidt or German’s position in the team.
Upcoming Months: What to Expect
While Montas’s return is likely still a month or two away, his presence could provide much-needed reinforcement to a Yankees pitching staff that has grappled with numerous injuries. The role Montas will eventually assume remains to be determined.
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