Yankees Rumors: Frankie Montas to Miss 1st Month of 2023 Season with Shoulder Injury

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 14, 2023

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 19: Frankie Montas #47 of the New York Yankees pitches during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros in game one of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 19, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

New York Yankees starting pitcher Frankie Montas is reportedly expected to miss the first month of the 2023 MLB regular season because of injury.

According to Dan Martin and Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Montas is dealing with inflammation in his pitching shoulder, leaving him eight to 10 weeks behind schedule in his offseason training.

The Yankees acquired Montas and reliever Lou Trivino from the Oakland Athletics prior to the trade deadline last season, sending pitchers JP Sears, Ken Waldichuk and Luis Medina, as well as infielder Cooper Bowman to Oakland.

Montas was widely viewed as one of the best available starters on the trade market, but the move did not pay dividends for New York. An injury delayed his Yankees debut, and after struggling in eight regular-season starts for New York, an MRI showed inflammation in his right shoulder.

As a result, Montas pitched only one inning for the Yankees during the playoffs, allowing a home run out of the bullpen against the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series.

During the regular season with New York, Montas clearly wasn't the same player he had been in previous seasons with the A's, as he went 1-3 with a 6.35 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 33 strikeouts over 39.2 innings.

In parts of six seasons in Oakland, Montas was 35-30 with a 3.70 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 558 strikeouts in 537.2 innings.

His best season came in 2021 when he went 13-9 with a 3.37 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 207 strikeouts in 187 innings en route to finishing sixth in the AL Cy Young Award voting.

Montas was pitching at a similar level last season before the trade, going 4-9 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 109 strikeouts in 104.2 innings across 19 starts for the A's.

Regardless of his struggles, being without Montas to start the 2023 season would not be ideal for the Yankees given the immense potential he has when healthy.

Even so, the Yanks are well-equipped to handle it, as the top four starters in their rotation can stack up with any in Major League Baseball.

Both Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes were All-Stars last season, and Luis Severino is a two-time All-Star, who is shaping up to be fully healthy for the first time since 2018.

The Yankees also signed Carlos Rodón to a six-year, $162 million contract in free agency on the heels of his second consecutive All-Star nod last season.

Montas can be the best No. 5 starter in baseball, but if he isn't available until May at the earliest, the Yankees have some solid contingency plans to consider, including Domingo Germán and Clarke Schmidt.