After 11 days of not throwing, Frankie Montas played catch on Saturday. The development was the first step toward him potentially impacting the Yankees in the postseason, though that probably won’t happen in the American League Division Series, which starts Oct. 11.
Instead, Aaron Boone said it’s more likely that Montas, who is recovering from right shoulder inflammation, will rejoin the team during the American League Championship Series should New York advance. If that happens, Montas figures to be a bullpen option or opener, as he’s pitched poorly since being traded from the Athletics and won’t have time to build up arm strength.
“I don’t know about the Division Series,” Boone said Saturday, per NJ.com’s Randy Miller. “I don’t know if that’s going to be in play, but we feel like there’s time to where he can get to a point where he could be an option for us. Maybe Division Series, but more likely beyond.”
The Yankees expected Montas to be frontline starter who could upgrade their postseason rotation when they acquired him in August. Instead, he pitched poorly before getting hurt, recording a 6.35 ERA over his first eight starts with the team. Montas also missed time due to shoulder inflammation in July while he was still a member of the Athletics.
Should Montas return in October and pitch out of the bullpen, such a role won’t be entirely unfamiliar to him.
While the 29-year-old has exclusively been a starter since the beginning of the 2019 season, Montas did pick up 30 games and 41.1 innings of experience out of the bullpen early in his career. His relief numbers are not great though; he owns a 5.66 ERA out of the pen.
Should the Yankees call on Montas in the playoffs, they’ll need him to be better than that – and better than he’s been in pinstripes.
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