HOUSTON — The news could have been better regarding Jordan Montgomery.
But it could have been far worse as well for the Yankees lefthander.
Aaron Boone announced before Wednesday night’s game an examination in New York of Montgomery’s left elbow earlier in the day showed a flexor tendon strain. Boone said the 25-year-old Montgomery, who left his start here Tuesday night after one inning because of discomfort in the elbow, would be out 6-8 weeks.
“He’s not going to play catch or throw anything for three weeks,” Boone said. “Not great news but not worst-case news either. Hopefully he can use this time and get well and come back and help us for most of the second half.”
Rookie righthander Domingo German, who allowed four hits and struck out four in four scoreless innings in relief of Montgomery Tuesday, will slot into the rotation for the time being.
“We have a lot of confidence in him being able to step into that role,” Boone said of the 25-year-old German, who has a 3.77 ERA in five appearances this year. With an at-times killer curveball, German has struck out 18 and walked seven in 14 1⁄3 innings.
Other options to start on the current 25-man roster are David Hale, added to the roster Wednesday, and A.J. Cole. Righty Chance Adams, a top pitching prospect, hasn’t been very good for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — he’s 0-2 with a 5.11 ERA in five starts — and lefty Justus Sheffield, another top pitching prospect, is off to a good start (2.25 ERA in five starts) but is only at Double-A Trenton. And neither prospect is on the 40-man roster.
Regardless of options, it is a blow to a rotation that came in 6-1 with a 2.17 ERA in its last 11 games. Montgomery, coming off a rookie season in which he went 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA in 29 starts, was a part of that, entering Tuesday 2-0 with a 3.76 ERA in six starts.
“He’s pitched really well,” Boone said of Montgomery. “He’s given us a chance to win every time he’s gone out there, so we’ll just have to pick up the slack.”