Yankees’ Frankie Montas to get MRI after feeling right shoulder discomfort

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Yankees’ Frankie Montas to get MRI after feeling right shoulder discomfort
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MILWAUKEE — Frankie Montas’ time with the Yankees has gotten off to a rough start — and it’s getting worse. 

Montas said Saturday he is headed to get an MRI exam on his right shoulder after he felt discomfort in the area following his outing on Friday against the Brewers, in which he allowed four runs in 3 ¹/₃ innings in a Yankees loss. 

The right-hander missed time in July with right shoulder inflammation and was still being built back up when the Yankees acquired him just before the trade deadline, along with Lou Trivino, for JP Sears and three other players. In eight starts with the Yankees, Montas has an ERA of 6.35. 

Montas told The Post before leaving the ballpark on Saturday he didn’t think this injury was as bad as his previous injury. He said he is optimistic about being able to make his next start. 

Whether that happens likely will depend on the results of the MRI. 

Frankie Montas
Frankie Montas will get an MRI on his right shoulder.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

In 39 ²/₃ innings with the Yankees, the 29-year-old Montas has given up 46 hits and 15 walks while striking out 33. He allowed 91 hits and 28 walks while striking out 109 in 104 ²/₃ innings with the Athletics. 

“I haven’t pitched like I can pitch and know I’m capable of doing,’’ Montas said after his start Friday. “I want to show what I can do in the playoffs.” 

Montas has about three weeks to get right before the postseason. 

“His command isn’t there right now,’’ one AL scout said. “Without that, this is what’s gonna happen.” 

On Friday, Montas said both his split-finger fastball and sinker were ineffective. 

Outside of five shutout innings at Tampa Bay on Sept. 4, Montas has been mediocre at best. 

Manager Aaron Boone made it clear the Yankees are not considering moving Montas out of the rotation, but Domingo German is an option to take his place if the team chooses to go that route. Also, Luis Severino is scheduled to start Wednesday in The Bronx following his rehab from a strained lat that has sidelined him since mid-July. 

Frankie Montas
Frankie Montas has struggled since joining the Yankees at the deadline.
AP

Asked about Montas’ ability to regain the form he showed in Oakland this season, when he became perhaps the most sought-after starting pitcher on the trade market following Luis Castillo’s move from Cincinnati to Seattle, Boone said he was confident Montas would be able to figure it out. 

“We need him to,’’ Boone said Friday. “We’ve got to get him moving in a good direction [to get] momentum. … We’ve got to keep working at it. He can be a difference-maker when he’s going well.” 

But that difference-making ability hasn’t always been on display. 

He pitched well with the A’s last season, finishing with a career-high 187 innings. 

Montas struggled for much of the shortened 2020 season, his first after he was suspended for testing positive for a banned substance in violation of mlb’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. 

And Montas has rarely been more ineffective than he was on Friday, when he was staked to a 5-0 lead by the end of the second inning. He was off from the start, although he survived a 27-pitch first inning without being scored on. But Willy Adames hit a three-run homer off him in the bottom of the second and he gave up two more runs in the third. 

Compare Montas’ early results with the Yankees to Sonny Gray’s after he was acquired from Oakland in 2017 and Montas comes up short. 

For all his troubles with the Yankees, Gray actually pitched fairly well for them early in his tenure in 2017. In 11 regular season starts following his acquisition, Gray had an ERA of 3.72, not that much higher than the 3.43 mark he had with the A’s that year. 

While his home run and walk rates went up with the Yankees that season, it wasn’t until a three-start stretch in April 2018, when he allowed 14 runs in 11 innings, that Gray began to unravel. 

The Yankees gave up three well-regarded pitching prospects (Sears, Ken Waldichuck and Luis Medina), as well as minor league infielder Cooper Bowman in exchange for Montas and Trivino, not just for this season, but for 2023, as well. 

They will have to hope for better results down the stretch for Montas to make that move worthwhile.

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