Yankees right-hander Frankie Montas told reporters yesterday that he expects to pitch in the majors at some point this season, and could begin throwing in about two months (link via MLB.com). Montas, who underwent shoulder surgery two weeks ago, noted that he “wasn’t fully 100%” when the Yankees acquired him from Oakland at the trade deadline last year, though he tried to pitch through the issue. The results of that attempt were rather discouraging, however, as Montas sported a 6.35 ERA, 38% worse than league average by ERA+, with a 4.93 FIP in 39 2/3 innings with the Yankees following the trade, which sent Montas and Lou Trivino to the Bronx in exchange for a four prospect package headlined by left-hander Ken Waldichuk.
The Yankees seem comfortable filling the hole in the rotation left by Montas internally with one of Domingo German or Clarke Schmidt. This hardly comes as a surprise, given the strength of New York’s rotation. During the offseason, the club added ace Carlos Rodon to a rotation that already included Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, and Luis Severino. Still, it’s certainly good news for the club that Montas expects to return at some point in the second half, as he could give the club a boost down the stretch if able to return to his old form. The right-hander posted a 3.51 ERA (119 ERA+) with a 3.49 FIP in 336 innings of work from 2019 to 2021, and had been pitching well in Oakland last year prior to the trade, sporting a 3.18 ERA (118 ERA+) with a 3.35 FIP through his 104 2/3 innings as a member of the A’s last year.
More injury updates from around the game:
- Padres righty Joe Musgrove began throwing off flat ground yesterday, as noted by MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell. Musgrove has been held back with a fractured big toe on his left foot this spring, and has yet to land on his left foot while throwing, instead keeping both feet rooted to the ground. The Padres, who were planning to go with a six-man rotation to open the season prior to Musgrove’s injury, are surely hoping for his quick return to action, as the right-hander figured to be a key cog at the top of San Diego’s rotation this year alongside Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and recently signed Michael Wacha. Musgrove posted a 2.93 ERA (127 ERA+) with a 3.59 FIP in 181 innings of work last season, earning his first All-Star bid in the process. He’s entering the first season of a five-year, $100MM contract extension he signed last summer.
- Guardians manager Terry Francona said yesterday that the progress of lefty reliever Sam Hentges, who has been slowed this spring by shoulder inflammation, was “really, really encouraging” (link via MLB.com). Francona notes that Hentges is set to begin doing dry work shortly and that it wouldn’t “be a surprise if he comes [back] quick,” though there’s been no specifics updates to his timetable for return. Hentges was among the best southpaw relievers in the sport last year, with a 29.4% strikeout rate and 7.8% walk rate backing up his sterling 2.32 ERA that clocked in 65% above league average by ERA+. The Guardians shut Hentges down from throwing back on March 1 and said he’d be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.
- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts noted to reporters, including Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, that shortstop Gavin Lux’s surgery went well. Lux suffered a torn ACL and damage to his LCL while running the bases during an early spring training game, and Roberts indicated that surgery revealed “more than a sprain” in Lux’s LCL — indicating significant damage to two of the 25-year-old’s cruciate ligaments. Lux is expected to miss the entire 2023 season as he rehabs from the surgery, with the Dodgers slated to rely on trade acquisition Miguel Rojas as their primary shortstop. Utilityman Chris Taylor is expected to see occasional time at the position as well.
Edward John Smiths
Big Toe Joe Joe will be a huge cog in the Pads machine this year. Really curious to see how this team will perform. On paper they look great but that doesn’t mean anything.
Not to make an obvious point, and the Yankees presumably had an opportunity to do due diligence on Montas, but why are they buying a guy for just two months of the season who already isn’t 100% and why is Oakland selling damaged goods?
Good grief, how many times must this be said? Guys get injured some times. This isn’t a Colin Rea situation.
LCL = lateral collateral ligament. There are only two cruciate ligaments, the anterior and posterior.