On Tuesday the Yankees were dealt with some awful news when it was announced that Jordan Montgomery will undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday.
This is a crushing blow for the Yankees and Montgomery especially. After an outstanding rookie season in 2017, the young left-hander looked like he could be a staple in the starting rotation for years to come. That still might be the case, but he’s going to have to wait another 12-15 months before he pitches again in the big leagues.
The news is pretty surprising even though Montgomery had been out on the DL with a flexor strain in his left elbow which he suffered during a start against the Astros back on May 2nd. It was believed the injury would only sideline him for six to eight weeks, but clearly, he had a setback.
You feel terrible for him because now he’ll likely miss most of next season too. As for the Yankees, their need for more starting pitching just increased. We all thought they were going to have to make a move regardless of whether Montgomery returned or not, but now we can pretty much guarantee that Brian Cashman will look to acquire another starter in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, Domingo German will continue to stay in the rotation and although he’s looked better of late he’s still a rookie with a 5.44 ERA. That won’t cut it as the season progresses so an upgrade will have to be made in some capacity.
It would be nice to see top prospects Chance Adams or Justus Sheffield eventually get a shot but Adams has struggled this season and Sheffield probably still needs more time to develop at Triple-A. Elsewhere the Yankees don’t really have many internal options who we could see make an impact.
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We’ll have to wait and see if this will cause the front office to make a trade sooner rather than later, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
The Yankees are going to be in a tight race with the Red Sox for the AL East crown all season long and they know their chances of winning the division just took a hit without a healthy Montgomery.
That’s not to say they don’t have the talent to win the East without him, but that will only be more difficult to accomplish with their current starting staff.
I’ve said it before, but the guy to target now more than ever should be the Rangers’ Cole Hamels. He’s a lefty just like Montgomery and he could be acquired by the Yanks without having to give up some of their top prospects. He might not be the ace he was once was but he’s still an above average pitcher with a solid postseason pedigree who would slide in nicely right behind Luis Severino in the second spot in the rotation.
Hopefully, a trade is on the horizon, but right now all we can do is feel bad for Montgomery. It’s better that it happened now while he’s still young, but just knowing that he may not be able to impact this Yankee team until the 2020 season has to be devastating.
All the best wishes to him. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery.