HOUSTON — Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a strained flexor tendon in his left arm, Manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday.
Montgomery, who left Tuesday’s start after one inning with tightness in his forearm, returned to New York, where he was given a magnetic resonance imaging test and was examined by the team doctor, Christopher Ahmad.
“Not great news, but not worst case news, either,” Boone said. “Hopefully he can use this time to get well and get strong and come back and help us for most of the second half.”
Montgomery, 25, was 2-0 with a 3.62 earned run average in six starts, including his abbreviated start on Tuesday. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild had noticed that Montgomery’s velocity, which is typically in the low 90s, was down to between 88 and 90 miles per hour. After Montgomery mentioned the tightness, the Yankees decided not to risk anything, and pulled him from the game.
After Montgomery was placed on the disabled list earlier Wednesday, David Hale was recalled from Class-AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will occupy a spot in the bullpen.
Montgomery will initially be replaced in the rotation by Domingo German, who pitched gamely in relief on Tuesday, holding the Astros scoreless for four innings while giving up four hits and a walk. But Boone was noncommittal about the rotation beyond German taking Montgomery’s scheduled start on Sunday, in part because beginning Monday the Yankees will have four days off in a 17-day span, allowing them to skip that spot in the rotation.
While the Yankees have restored their depth in the farm system in recent years, they are relatively thin in starting pitching at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Left-hander Josh Rogers, with a 3.00 earned run average, has been the most effective. He has pitched well in four of his five starts and has struck out 31 and walked five in 30 innings. Two more highly touted prospects, Justus Sheffield and Dillon Tate, have been pitching well at Class AA Trenton.
As for Montgomery, he will not throw for three weeks, after which he will begin playing catch and begin building himself back up. A flexor strain can be a precursor to Tommy John surgery — as was the case with former top prospect James Kaprielian last April — but Boone said there was no indication Montgomery’s strain would lead to surgery.