Yankees long-shot Frankie Montas just silently shut down his throwing program

If you were counting on seeing Frankie Montas in December, stop doing that.
Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Man, it sure does get tiring seeing the same photos of 2022 Frankie Montas, doesn't it? Would love to refresh those and get some fresh new pictures of the right-hander dealing in Yankees pinstripes. Luckily, his shoulder injury is in the past, and the sinker specialist is in the midst of a throwing program. Now, to take a piping hot sip of coffee and scroll through Gary H. Phillips' Twitter feed --

Ah. Cool.

Montas, a well-hyped acquisition at the '22 trade deadline, had famously battled shoulder injuries earlier in the season. Brian Cashman, unwilling to part with Anthony Volpe for Luis Castillo and smelling a relative bargain, opted to ignore those troublesome reports.

Therefore, what the Yankees received wasn't the second-best hurler on the market. Instead, they acquired damaged goods; Montas posted a 6.35 ERA in eight starts in New York, hit the shelf with continued irritation, then returned to surrender dingers in relief during the team's incredibly doomed ALCS.

It seemed, for about one second this offseason, that the Yankees had assembled the greatest rotation possible following the signing of Carlos Rodón. Sure, Montas was still a question mark, but you'd take him as your FIFTH STARTER! Alas, he was the first domino to fall. In mid-January, it was announced that he was lagging behind in his shoulder rehab.

He then succumbed to preseason surgery, putting an August/September return on the table, as long as everything went well.

Everything has not gone well. Surprise. Already behind that timeline, Montas reportedly shut down his throwing program last week after experiencing soreness. He will meet the Yankees in Anaheim, reportedly to haunt Brian Cashman like a ghoul as the GM attempts to navigate 2023's deadline waters.

Yankees are never getting Frankie Montas back, are they?

Montas hasn't been a relied-upon piece of this team's projections since long before his surgery officially scuttled the majority (at best!) of his 2023 season. But it's still a daunting, devilish reminder of just how much the 2022 deadline bag was fumbled for a new issue to be arising now, as the team carefully balances between buying and selling.

You ever think about how the 2022 Yankees shook off Joey Gallo's existence to go 64-28 at the break and 70-34 by the deadline, holding onto a 12-game lead in the division and only the faintest of worry scars from previous seasons? They then went "all in" on Montas, Andrew Benintendi, whose wrist snapped in a hideous twist of fate, Scott Effross, and Harrison Bader mid-IL stint. They finished with 99 wins, most of them belonging to a team from a bygone, pre-August era that felt fated for great things. When October arrived, they were punchless. Since that date, they've gone 79-73, with one more deadline flourish ahead of them to potentially make things even worse.

Montas' bum wing wasn't the only piece of the disaster pie, but it sure was nice for it to rear its ugly head one final time this summer.