Yankees pitcher Frankie Montas is still behind in his shoulder rehab and will miss the start of the 2023 season.
Per Dan Martin and Jon Heyman of The New York Post, Montas is “8-10 weeks behind in his offseason training” and should be back by May. On Friday, Montas and the Yankees avoided arbitration and agreed on a $7.5 million salary for 2023.
The Yankees acquired Montas and reliever Lou Trivino from the Oakland A’s at last year’s trade deadline. Oakland received top pitching prospects JP Sears and Ken Waldichuk in return, and we’ve already discussed the Yankees’ shocking and sudden lack of arms on the farm.
Montas’ shoulder injury also clearly affected him last season. He posted a 3.18 ERA in 19 starts with Oakland, but saw that number balloon to 6.35 in eight with New York. His control was never right and Montas did not pitch in the playoffs after hitting the injured list in September.
As to how the Yankees will address his absence, manager Aaron Boone has plenty of in-house options. Remember, despite being the A’s’ ace, Montas is the Yankees’ No. 5 starter. This is the chance for someone like Clarke Schmidt to prove he isn’t just a failed starter turned bullpen arm. Domingo German is also out of minor league options and literally fighting for a spot on the roster or otherwise a new team.
Let’s also not forget former top prospect Deivi Garcia, who hopes to put his control issues behind him. Young righty Jhony Brito (No. 22 prospect in NYY system) is also a dark horse to make the team out of camp. Maybe Boone will spin the wheel and make the fifth turn in the rotation a bullpen game for a month.
But at the end of the day, however the Yankees decide to utilize the No. 5 spot in April doesn’t matter. Whomever fills the hole will be a placeholder until Frankie Montas is healthy and ready to pitch.
More importantly, the random days off in April mean the Yankees have even more time to decide. Boone likely won’t need to use a fifth starter until April 13, and then probably not again until April 23. In the meantime, the Yankees will have a healthy foursome of Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino, and Nestor Cortes ready to roll.
Frankie Montas can join up again when he’s fully healthy.
Yankees pitchers and catchers have their first spring training workout on Feb. 16