June 7: The Yankees announced that Montgomery underwent Tommy John surgery today, adding that Dr. Christopher Ahmad also discovered a loose bone chip that was removed as well.
June 5: Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who has been on the 10-day disabled list with an elbow strain for a bit more than a month, will undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday this week, the team announced to reporters (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch).
Obviously, the news comes as a blow to a Yankees club that was already likely to be in the market for rotation help on the summer trade market. With Montgomery now out of action for the balance of the 2018 season and a significant portion of the 2019 season as well, that need will only be emphasized more strongly by general manager Brian Cashman and his staff.
[Related: New York Yankees depth chart]
The 25-year-old Montgomery entered Spring Training 2017 as a dark-horse candidate for a rotation spot but forced his way into the organization’s plans and appeared to seize a long-term rotation spot with a very strong rookie showing. In 155 1/3 innings last year (29 starts), Montgomery notched a 3.82 ERA with 8.3 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9. He started six games for the Yankees in 2018, working to a 3.62 ERA in 27 1/3 innings, though his final outing lasted just one inning, and he’s been on the DL since.
Montgomery will still accrue service time in both 2018 and 2019 as he mends on the 60-day disabled list. By the time he’s likely to be healthy enough for a full season of work in the rotation (2020), he’ll quite likely have gone through the arbitration process for the first time as a Super Two player. Montgomery entered the season with 153 days of Major League service time, so he’ll be at two years, 153 days once the 2019 season wraps up. That makes him a virtual lock for Super Two designation, and he’ll be controllable for the Yankees all the way through the 2023 campaign.
With Montgomery now done for the year, the Yankees will continue to lean on Domingo German in the fifth spot of their rotation for the foreseeable future. He’ll fall in line behind Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and CC Sabathia, though it’s possible that the Yankees will ultimately turn to another option in the five-spot — at least until a presumptive trade acquisition comes together.
German, 25, threw six no-hit innings in his first MLB start back on May 6, but he’s been rocked for 19 earned runs in 21 innings since that time. Top pitching prospect Chance Adams has struggled with the Yankees’ top affiliate this season, though lefty Justus Sheffield has been more impressive and could conceivably earn a look in the coming weeks as the Yankees plot a new trajectory in the wake of Montgomery’s unfortunate diagnosis.