After spending a month on the disabled list, Jordan Montgomery will actually have to undergo Tommy John surgery on his elbow.
This sucks, man. Monty has worked his tail off to make it onto the team in 2017 after being a relatively unknown prospect in the Yankees organization and has never had a major arm injury in his career but now, he is going to be shelved likely until 2020. He was having a great start to the season, posting a 3.62 ERA and 23 SO through 27.1 innings and looked like he was going to be building off of his impressive rookie season until leaving the game in Houston on May 1st after the first inning.
“Gumby” is only 25-years-old, but the road back from Tommy John is not an easy one; with my basic understanding of the surgery, Tommy John surgery is a procedure where the UCL tendon in the elbow is replaced with a tendon from elsewhere in the body due to extreme strain and tearing. That is brutal.
Unfortunately, this procedure has become common practice for pitchers in the majors; and although it is no longer a death sentence for a players’ career, the road back is extremely long and tedious.
How this affects the Yankees
The worst kept secret in baseball is that the Yankees need a starting pitcher. That did not change with the news of Monty’s surgery, it did however, change the perception of the Yankees around the league. Teams know just how big of a need starting pitching is in New York, and they are inclined to ask for more in a potential trade situation because the Yankees are dealing with a sense of urgency.
The Yankees will have to make a trade; that much is clear. As to whom it may be? Well, all we can do is speculate; but I’d be willing to bet Brian Cashman will be looking for not only 2018, but for 2019 as well. Cashman knows this is a young team with a core group consisting of some of the best hitters in baseball, so he will try to find someone who can slot in for the next season and a half, possibly more.
The Yankees have an extremely deep farm system, but their pitching prospects seem to be too far away to make an impact. Justus Sheffield (Yankees no. 2 overall prospect) is currently in AAA Scranton and is coming off of the disabled list, but is still working on some command issues that have plagued him so far. Chance Adams (Yankees no. 4 overall prospect) has had a rough season thus far and has been trying to fix command issues of his own, but has been pitching better as of late. Jonathan Loaisiga (Yankees no. 12 overall prospect) is currently lighting up AA Trenton, but it would be asking a whole lot of him to completely leap frog AAA.
Montgomery’s injury at the very least buys Yankees rookie Domingo German more time in the rotation. German has shown flashes of middle of the rotation talent, but he has not put it all together for consecutive starts. The trade deadline isn’t until 4 p.m. on July 31st, and the Yankees have the time to weigh their options and see if they want to promote from within or go out and bring in a veteran.
Winning solves everything, and the Yankees are 31-9 in their last 40 games, so as long as they keep putting W’s in the win column, Cashman and the Yankees front office will have time to make their decisions.