Athletics right-hander Frankie Montas will return from suspension during the club’s series against the Angels, which begins Tuesday, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. Montas will be eligible to pitch Wednesday, but it’s not yet clear whether the 26-year-old will start or relieve during his late-season comeback.
With a 2.70 ERA/2.90 FIP and 9.7 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9 in 90 innings, Montas has unquestionably been the A’s most effective starter this year. However, a shocking 80-game performance-enhancing drug ban on June 21 cut off his breakout campaign and will stop him from participating in the playoffs. The A’s aren’t locks to reach the postseason, but at 92-61 and two games up on the AL’s No. 1 wild-card spot, they look to be on their way. Whether from their rotation or their bullpen, Montas could further bolster the A’s chances of a second straight playoff trip over the last week of the season.
Thanks in part to Montas’ absence, this is the second consecutive season the A’s rotation’s trying to battle through adversity and reach the top of the mountain in baseball. Multiple injuries have also added to the difficulty for Oakland, but its starting staff has found some late-season stability. Trade deadline pickups Homer Bailey and Tanner Roark have provided solid results since coming over in July; Sean Manaea has been nearly unhittable since he made a long-awaited return from injury Sept. 1; and Mike Fiers and Brett Anderson have defied unspectacular peripherals en route to ERAs in the low-4.00s this year.