Even since being acquired by the New York Yankees at the trade deadline, Frankie Montas has largely been bad. In four starts, he’s pitched just 19.2 innings and has registered an awful 7.32 ERA, 4.55 FIP, 1.58 WHIP and 14 strikeouts.
His Yankees debut on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals was downright awful, and then he rebounded with a “bend don’t break” start at Fenway in a narrow victory over the Red Sox (who are bad, though). Didn’t quite turn the corner there.
Montas got shellacked by the Toronto Blue Jays to the tune of six earned runs on eight hits and a walk in a 9-2 loss amid the Yankees’ concerning spiral (which is hopefully nearing the end). So, on Tuesday night against the New York Mets, he had a chance to redeem himself.
Thankfully, the right-hander turned in his best start of the four with the Yankees, twirling 5.2 innings and allowing two earned runs (due to a couple of defensive gaffes) on five hits and a walk while striking out six against a hot Mets offense. The Yankees grabbed the 4-2 win and swept the second leg of the Subway Series.
Is this the true “corner turn” moment? Can Yankees fans expect more of this out of the right-hander rather than what they saw against the Cards and Jays? Yankees broadcaster David Cone is here to ease our worries!
David Cone eases Yankees fans’ worries about the Frankie Montas trade
You’re talking about a guy who lived this exact experience (twice!). Well, we shouldn’t say exact. Have you been watching “The Captain”? Cone came over to the Yankees in the middle of the 1995 season in a trade with the Kansas City Royals and jumped right in and got comfortable.
That’s not always the case with every trade acquisition though, as Cone eloquently lays out. It seems Montas (or the Yankees coaching staff/catching staff) initially deviated from what worked for Montas during his tenure with the Athletics.
For whatever reason, he was throwing a lot fewer sliders and cutters and a lot more fastballs and splitters, which certainly didn’t help with the unpredictability factor and then made his sliders/cutters a bit less effective because he wasn’t throwing them as frequently, thus likely hurting his ability to locate.
Perhaps Kyle Higashioka was the change Montas needed behind the plate? Or maybe Matt Blake wanted to do some experimenting to gather data in the early going before the games got more important?
Either way, Montas had a much healthier mix of pitches against the Mets and was much better off for it. Now all he has to do is improve his pace on the mound, because MAN … he is slow and frustrating to watch.