MILWAUKEE — Frankie Montas, who is coming off another disappointing start on Friday night, was sent for an MRI on his right shoulder Saturday afternoon. The right-hander complained of an “impingement” after he was able to go just 3.1 innings in the Yankees’ 7-6 loss to the Brewers on Friday night at American Family Field.
“I mean, [I’m] at least a little bit concerned,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Saturday night’s game against the Brewers. “It seems to be at least symptomatic wise — and we’ll check him out — less than what he was dealing with when he was in Oakland a couple of months ago. But, we’ll obviously know more when we get [the results] and then we can move forward from there.”
Montas said he felt better than expected when he woke up on Saturday morning, which is why he is encouraged that this time the shoulder issue will not be significant. He said the way he felt Saturday night, he would expect to make his next start.
The Yankees acquired Montas at the trade deadline with the idea that he would be the No. 2 starter behind Gerrit Cole in a playoff series. He had made just two starts after spending from July 3 to 21 on the injured list with a shoulder injury for the A’s before the deal. The Yankees had a scout at both of those starts to look for signs of the injury.
“Obviously we knew he was coming off injury that only cost him 17 days,” Boone said. “But, yeah, everything would have suggested that he was healthy.”
Still, since coming to the Yankees, Montas has been less than impressive. The 29-year-old right-hander was specifically brought in because of his track record against the Astros and the Rays with the playoff rotation in mind. So far, he is 1-3 with a 6.41 ERA in eight starts with the Bombers.
Boone said that Friday after the game was the first time Montas said anything to them about his shoulder.
“I think it could have had something to do with last night,” Boone said. “But just as far as I know, he’s been good and healthy, and even last night, according to him, was fairly minor, but we’ll see.”
Boone did say that he noticed Montas had trouble maintaining his fastball velocity.
“I thought his fastball velocity was a little bit down in [the] second and third inning on a consistent standpoint,” Boone said. “So now in hindsight that could have been a sign.”
Montas is under team control next season as well.
The Yankees have not had much luck with the trade deadline acquisitions. Andrew Benintendi is on the injured list after surgery to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his hand/wrist. Scott Effross has been on the injured list with a right shoulder strain. The Bombers also traded Jordan Montgomery for center fielder Harrison Bader, who had been on the injured list since late June with plantar fasciitis.
Anthony Rizzo is expected to come off the injured list and make his first appearance since Aug. 31.
“He’s just gotta get through today, it’s going to be a light day for him,” Boone said. “Yesterday was a pretty heavy day for him hitting live, swings moving. So they’ll do more baseball stuff today but a little bit lighter. But if everything checks out OK he’ll be in there tomorrow.”
Rizzo has been dealing with a back issue since early July which required him to get an epidural. That caused him migraine headaches which finally put him on the injured list.
The slugger, who has hit 30 homers, missed five games at the beginning of August with what he said are back spasms that have plagued him over the last few years of his career. Since coming back, Rizzo has hit .212/.297/.394 with a .691 OPS, three home runs and five RBI in the 19 games before he was ultimately shut down. He saw renowned orthopedic specialist Dr. Robert Watkins when the Yankees were in Anaheim.
A healthy Rizzo in the lineup, however, is left-handed protection for right-handed slugger Aaron Judge.
The Bombers have also been without backup first baseman DJ LeMahieu, who is on the IL with a toe issue, so Rizzo returning helps their defense as well.
“He just knows the nuances of the position. He just is really good,” Boone said. “With DJ going down, obviously we’ve had the plugin over there. Been a little bit thin over there. So, yeah, just getting his presence back in the lineup and on the field is huge.”
Jose Trevino and Marwin Gonzalez who both left Friday night’s game were better on Saturday. Trevino, who took a foul ball off his right knee, was not scheduled to catch Saturday, but Boone said he felt well enough that he “should be” an option off the bench for him. Gonzalez, who left the game with dizziness, felt better as well.
“He was just kind of dizzy, nauseous but was good by last night and then this morning was fine,” Boone said.