Frankie Montas one-inning rehab farce was hilarious ending to Yankees career

It's Montas Time!
Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Think back to last August, a time when we all knew Frankie Montas had balky medicals, but we didn't know it know it yet. You remember it, right? The Yankees, who started the first half on an all-time heater but had cooled somewhat in July, added the sixth-place Cy Young finisher from the previous season and didn't have to surrender Oswald Peraza in the deal, instead flipping pitching prospect Ken Waldichuk as the headliner.

Unfortunately, while we don't yet know what the 25-year-old Waldichuk will become (recent dominant appearance against the Astros aside, he's been pretty bad in 2023 with spotty control), we're well aware what Frankie The Yankee looks like. His 1.5 years in the Bronx ended in hilarious fashion on Sunday when he concluded his stop-and-start, year-long rehab by being activated in the high minors.

When the man with the 6.35 ERA in pinstripes went under the knife this spring, that was the first blow to the "best rotation in baseball." He was expected back in August ... then July ... and then not at all, shutting down his throwing program while the Yankees scuffled in Anaheim.

But, like a jump scare in a horror flick, there was Montas in Scranton's dugout Saturday, ready to take the ball (for an inning) for the non-playoff-bound RailRiders on Sunday afternoon.

Yankees trade deadline bust Frankie Montas throws only 17 pitches in 2023

Like a sting at the end of a particular biting (and cruel) joke, Montas went from trade deadline hope that solidified the Yankees' contender status to immediate bust to No. 5 starter in an elite rotation (a role he'd be better suited for) to injured to disappeared to Scranton's opener.

And, you know what? I'd still consider a one-year, $6 million for him more carefully than any sort of Luis Severino contract.

All kidding aside, the addition of Montas last summer remains one of Cashman's most egregious offenses. From an outsider's perspective, it certainly seems like he lit up with glee when he realized how cheaply he could acquire such a ballyhooed target, choosing to ignore the lingering shoulder issues in order to (briefly) satisfy the fan base with a splash. Who needs Luis Castillo when you can have a less talented pitcher with a mincemeat shoulder instead?

Choosing Montas, a roller-coaster sinker specialist, over surer things was already a classic modern Yankees foible. Add the injury (that everybody outside the clubhouse knew about) and it only becomes more of an insult.

Great Scranton inning, though. Looked crisp.