Frankie Montas’ sore right shoulder hasn’t allowed him to begin throwing, and that next step in his rehab doesn’t have a date attached to it.
The righthander isn’t likely to be built up in time for the ALDS, relegating Montas to being an opener, at best, at some point during that series.
“We’ll see,” Aaron Boone said when asked directly about the possibility of Montas being in his ALDS rotation. “It could be starting and maybe he gives us 30, 40 pitches.”
But with Luis Severino recently returning from the 60-day injured list, it is unlikely the Yankees would go the “opener” direction in the ALDS. That’s something that backfired spectacularly for them when they outthought themselves in ALDS Game 2 against the Rays in 2020, using Deivi Garcia as an opener and piggybacking J.A. Happ. Garcia allowed a run in his inning and Happ gave up four runs in 2 2⁄3 innings in a 7-5 loss, and the Yankees lost the series in five games.
Montas was placed on the injured list on Sept. 20 — retroactive to Sept. 17 — with right shoulder inflammation. Before landing on the IL, Montas, 4-9 but with a 3.18 ERA with the Oakland As, had not come close to that with the Yankees, going 1-3 with a 6.35 ERA in eight starts.
Montas’ unavailability for the ALDS is not a concern, but if the Yankees and Astros advance to the ALCS, it will be. The Yankees have long liked Montas, and among the biggest reasons why they traded for him are his career numbers against Houston. He has a 2.72 ERA in 15 games against the Astros, including a 2.80 ERA in six games at Minute Maid Park.
“It’s probably getting to a point where it’s going to be tough,” Boone said of getting Montas built back up as a starter in time for the ALDS and beyond. “I do think there’s a chance that he can have a role and impact us. It’s just a matter of how the next couple of weeks go.”