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AL East Notes: Montas, Jansen, Bautista, Mountcastle


The Yankees announced this morning that right-hander Frankie Montas will begin a rehab assignment at the Triple-A level this evening. Montas has not yet appeared in a professional game this year after undergoing shoulder surgery back in February.

Montas joined the Yankees at the trade deadline last year in a deal that sent a package of prospects headlined by left-hander Ken Waldichuk. The deal proved to be an ill-fated one for the Yankees, as Montas made just eight starts to the tune of a 6.35 ERA with a strikeout rate of just 17.8%. With just 12 games left on the regular season calendar and New York all but eliminated from postseason contention, the window is tight for Montas to return to the big leagues this year at all, much less for a full-length start. Nonetheless, with the 30-year-old righty poised to hit the open market this November, even a brief return to the big leagues where Montas can prove his health to clubs ahead of the offseason could be valuable as he looks to join a crowded free agent class for starting pitchers.

More from around the AL East…

  • Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen has been on the COVID-19 injured list for the past week, but could be nearing a return. As manager Alex Cora told reporters (including The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey) that Jansen is playing catch and is currently expected to rejoin the team in Texas on Wednesday, as soon as he’s eligible to return from the IL. The 35-year-old closer has had a solid season in Boston, with a 3.63 ERA and 29 saves in 44 2/3 innings of work. Chris Martin, Garrett Whitlock, and John Schreiber have handled the late innings for the Red Sox while Jansen has been out.
  • Orioles closer Felix Bautista has been on the IL since late August with a UCL injury, though the club hasn’t given up hope on the 28-year-old returning this year. That hope is still alive today, as manager Brandon Hyde told reporters (including Dan Connolly of Sportsnaut) this afternoon. Bautista threw a 20-25 pitch side session, which Nathan Ruiz of the Baltimore Sun was noted was his third consecutive day of throwing. Bautista was perhaps the most dominant reliever in the sport prior to going down with injury. In 61 innings of work this season, he’s posted a 1.48 ERA with an incredible 46.4% strikeout rate.
  • Sticking with the Orioles, Hyde told reporters (including Jake Rill of that first baseman Ryan Mountcastle, who has been dealing with shoulder soreness in recent days, tried swinging a bat yesterday but that “it didn’t go great.” Hyde added that he still doesn’t consider Mountcastle as a candidate to hit the injured list. Mountcastle has slashed .269/.327/.453 in 459 trips to the plate this season. The Orioles have been relying on Ryan O’Hearn at first base in Mountcastle’s absence.

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