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  • Derek McAdam

This Pitcher's Disappointing Yankee Career Is Likely Over

By Derek McAdam

February 17, 2023


Yankees fans, the bad news has already begun… and Spring Training games have yet to begin. On Wednesday, it was announced that Frankie Montas would undergo shoulder surgery next week that may potentially sideline him for the entire 2023 season. This news comes just a couple of days after the Yankees announced that Nestor Cortes, Jr. would not pitch in the World Baseball Classic after suffering a hamstring injury.

Last month, it was announced that Montas, dealing with a shoulder injury, was 8-10 weeks behind in his training schedule and would miss at least the first month of the regular season. Just from the initial reports, this did not seem like it was going to be a simple road to recovery. Should problems don’t seem to work themselves out within a few weeks, but is usually something that takes several months. As it turns out, it was not the simple road to recovery.

Now that Montas is set for surgery on Tuesday, it seems even more likely that his brief, and disappointing, Yankee career is over. His injury will now force the Yankees to focus on finding a fifth starter not just for the first half of the regular season, but for the entire year. Brian Cashman should not try and remain optimistic that Montas can make a return later on in the season, but face reality and accept the fact that it is already an unlikely scenario.

And speaking of Cashman… this is yet another trade that was just disastrous. The Yankees were looking to acquire another starter, and were looking into Luis Castillo, but refused to give up top prospects to secure the former Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher who was then traded to Seattle. So instead, Cashman gave up a couple of top prospects for Montas, who was having a decent season, but was fresh off an injury and time away for family reasons.

Along with the trade for Montas, I did not understand trading away Jordan Montgomery just a day later. Montgomery was having a good year and the only consistent starter in the Yankees’ rotation. Harrison Bader has been a fine return, but it didn’t make sense that a team that was bound to make the playoffs would trade away a starting pitcher that wasn’t even struggling. Was Montgomery just a player the Yankee organization wasn’t fond of? Who knows.

What we do know is that the Montas trade has not, and will probably not, work out. As the New York Post’s Joel Sherman put it, Montas is Cashman’s “Carl Pavano 2.0.” Montas and Pavano were both hurt a lot while playing for the Yankees, and when they were healthy, they were not reliable pitchers. I think Sherman sums it up very well.

The Montas trade is not one that is going to set the Yankees back for years to come. Sure, JP Sears and another prospect or two may turn into solid players. However, this was a move that just never made sense from the beginning. Maybe Cashman should steer clear of acquiring Oakland A’s starters, especially considering how the last two have worked out.

So now to Cortes. My theory is that the Yankees knew about Montas having to need surgery before Wednesday. Cortes might have some discomfort in his hamstring, but the Montas news may have been the reason why they are sitting Cortes for two weeks and pulling him out of the WBC.

Is this the right move to make? Absolutely. While the Yankees have been able to steer clear of many of the core muscle injuries they had prior to 2021, there is still the lingering feeling that this team is still injury prone, and rightfully so. The Yankees also had concerns last year regarding the number of innings Cortes can pitch in a single season. With the WBC and a full season of baseball ahead, the Yankees are simply not taking the gamble.

Plus, the Yankees are not paying Cortes to pitch in the WBC. They made it clear that Luis Severino will not pitch in the WBC for the Dominican Republic since they need him ready for the regular season. It only makes sense that this is the appropriate move for Cortes. Of course, I may be completely wrong. But, the writing is on the wall that this is a precautionary decision.

Going from here, the Yankees just need to use Spring Training to figure out who the fifth starter will be. Assuming that Cortes will be reading to go on Opening Day, and that the rest of the rotation can remain healthy, the fifth starter spot will likely be a competition between Domingo German and Clarke Schmidt. If Cortes is out longer than expected, it seems likely that both of these pitchers will be in the rotation come Opening Day.

For now, let’s just hope that the Yankees are only looking to fill one rotation spot and not two.

9 comentarios

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
17 feb 2023

If only the Yankees had swung a three-way deal last summer: Yanks get Bader, A's get Yanks' prospects, Cards get Montas. Or maybe the Cards wouldn't have been so dumb as to imagine Montas the Mountebank was an upgrade over Montgomery.

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17 feb 2023


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17 feb 2023

it's rather easy to understand why they traded Montgomery.


the team wants strikeouts from their starters

Montgomery didn't give them what they wanted.

and they managed to trade Montgomery for something that they needed..... a first-rate CF defender.

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17 feb 2023

If you are scoring at home, JP Sears, Ken Waldichuk, Luis Medina, and second baseman Cooper Bowman all lost because of lousy scouting and decision making from the Grand Exalted Mystic Ruler, Brian Cashman. I think Ed or Trixie Norton would have done a better job!

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17 feb 2023
Contestando a

My question is why does Cashman still have a job? Can you imagine the consequences if George were alive? Oh, brother!

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