Starting pitcher Frankie Montas probably hasn’t had lots of fun since getting dealt to the Yankees before last summer’s trade deadline. A lack of performance with an injury piled on top will do that.
In 104.2 innings for the Oakland Athletics in 2022, Montas twirled a 3.18 ERA with 1.9 fWAR. Upon arriving in the Bronx, his performance tanked. He posted a 6.35 ERA and 0.1 fWAR in just 39.2 innings of work. He was mostly a non-factor in New York’s trip to October, appearing in only one game as a reliever (he tossed one inning).
The hope was he’d be a bounce-back candidate in 2023. Especially since this is his last year before free agency. But that revenge tour will have to wait after needing shoulder surgery. It was initially thought Montas would barely pitch at all this season for the Yankees. But after coming out of the procedure, his prognosis is much more optimistic.
But what about that awful second half with the Yankees? MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch caught up with the hurler, who had some interesting things to say about his 2022 with New York:
Montas said that he “for sure” expects to pitch for the #Yankees this season. No target date set yet. He will resume playing catch in about 9-10 weeks.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 8, 2023
Not 100%? What exactly does that mean? And if he wasn’t 100%, how did Montas pass his physical to make the Yankees’ trade with Oakland official? Even though they needed some rotation help, receiving damaged goods clearly wasn’t all that helpful.
Before we completely blame this on Cashman, how much did the A’s know about Montas’ condition before agreeing to a deal? If we go back and look at Montas’ 2022 game log, there was a gap in his appearances during the month of July — even considering the All-Star break.
The right-hander never went on the injured list, but he exited a July 3rd start against the Seattle Mariners after one inning with shoulder tightness. He didn’t pitch again until July 21st, which included three innings against the Detroit Tigers. Montas then pitched five days later on July 26th, accumulating five innings against the Houston Astros in his last appearance with Oakland. He eventually went on the injured list in September with New York because of right shoulder inflammation.
So, it seems like something fishy is going on here. With the benefit of hindsight for the public, it’s not surprising to hear Frankie Montas wasn’t 100%. The real question is, what did the Yankees know or not know about the hurler’s health?
This is something Cashman needs to address. We’ll see if it happens, though.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.