Perhaps a reason for Montas’s struggles was his irregular schedule of late. A right-hander, he returned July 21 after missing nearly three weeks with inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He began again for Oakland on July 26, reaching 78 pitches, then was traded to Recent York. But then got here the family death that delayed Montas’s arrival and affected his workload, which, in keeping with Manager Aaron Boone, was still being built back up after the injury anyway.
While Montas was on the bereavement list, Sam Briend, the team’s director of pitching, flew to Arizona to satisfy with him and oversee his throwing, including a bullpen session, said Matt Blake, the team’s pitching coach.
“We didn’t want him to be out on his own for 4 or five days after which come and begin, so Sam went, sort of got eyes on him, talked through what the expectations were, and gave us a download of what he does in his routine and every part,” Blake said.
Boone added: “We got about pretty much as good per week as you’ll be able to considering the circumstances.”
Ahead of the trade deadline, the Yankees added the All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi, a left-handed contact hitter who helps further balance the lineup and weather the absence of Giancarlo Stanton (left Achilles’ tendinitis) and the struggles of Aaron Hicks (.226 batting average); the right-handed reliever Scott Effross, who wracks up strikeouts throwing sidearm; Trivino; and Montas.
Montas, 29, fortifies a rotation that has handled some struggles (Domingo German has a 5.09 E.R.A. in 4 starts since his return from a shoulder injury) and that will likely be without Luis Severino (right latissimus dorsi strain) until mid-September.
However the Yankees also subtracted from their rotation, surprisingly sending the 29-year-old left-hander Jordan Montgomery — who was drafted by the Yankees in 2014, had been pitching solidly (3.69 E.R.A.) and was under team control next 12 months — to the Cardinals for Harrison Bader, a 2021 Gold Glove-winning center fielder who’s on the injured list until perhaps September. Although Bader was hitting .256 this season and has been out since late June with plantar fasciitis, he will help shore up the Yankees’ weakest defensive outfield position.