Frankie Montas

From BR Bullpen

Francelis Montas Luna

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 185 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Frankie Montas was a member of the World Team at the 2015 Futures Game and made his major league debut later that season.

Montas was originally signed by the Boston Red Sox and scout Manny Nanita for $75,000 as an amateur free agent in December of 2009, but was then included in a series of high profile trades. The first one, on July 30 2013, saw him go from the Red Sox to the Chicago White Sox in the three-team deal that saw SS Jose Iglesias go from Boston to the Detroit Tigers, OF Avisail Garcia move from Detroit to Chicago, and P Jake Peavy for Chicago to Boston. Frankie made his big league debut with the White Sox in September of 2015, going 0-2, 4.80 in 7 games. On December 16th, he was part of another mega-trade involving three teams. The major fallout from that deal was 3B Todd Frazier going from the Cincinnati Reds to the White Sox, with the Sox sending three youngsters to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Dodgers in turn sending three others to the Reds; Frankie was one of the players going from Chicago to L.A., along with OF Trayce Thompson and IF Micah Johnson.

Frankie had some health issues in the first few months of the 2016 season, pitching only 7 times between the AA Tulsa Drillers and AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers. he had no record and 2.25 ERA in 16 innings, but the Dodgers were reluctant to call him up when they suffered a bevy of pitching injuries. Instead, on August 1st, they added his name to another big trade, this one landing the Dodgers P Rich Hill and OF Josh Reddick while he and fellow pitching prospects Jharel Cotton and Grant Holmes moved to the Oakland Athletics.

On June 21, 2019, he was handed a suspension of 80 games for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. He was having a great season, going 9-2, 2.70 in his first 15 starts. The suspension made him ineligible for the All-Star Game, to which he appeared to be headed. He claimed he had ingested a tainted over-the-counter supplement and had not willingly taken Ostarine, the banned substance in question, but accepted responsibility for the mistake. He returned to make one final start on September 25th - a no-decision - but he was not eligible for the postseason either due to the suspension. In 2020, he never really got going after the Coronavirus pandemic amputated the first four months of the season. In 11 starts, he went 3-5 with a bloated 5.60 ERA. He still got to make his postseason debut, and in Game 3 of the Wild Card Series on October 1st, when he defeated the Chicago White Sox, he picked up the 6-4 win with a two-inning relief stint as the third of eight A's pitchers in the see-saw game. He was then given the ball to start Game 4 of the Division Series against the Houston Astros and was charged with the 11-6 loss after giving up 5 runs in 3 2/3 innings.

He was a bit of a question mark heading into the 2021 season, but ended up as Oakland's most reliable pitcher, especially after Chris Bassitt, who had been the team's ace, was hit by a batted ball in August and only came back in the last days of the season, by which time their fate was sealed. The Athletics missed the postseason because they were manhandled by the surprising Seattle Mariners down the stretch, but Frankie still ended up with a 13-9, 3.37 record, and in September/October, he was named the American League Pitcher of the Month after going 3-0, 2.19 in 6 starts, with 40 strikeouts in 37 innings. He almost doubled his previous high for innings in a season, pitching 187 innings after his previous high had been 96 in 2019, and he also topped 200 strikeouts for the first time, finishing with 207. The Athletics cleaned house before the 2022 season, trading away a number of veterans, but Frankie was among those who stayed put, although it was widely rumored that his time would come as well at the trading deadline. He went 4-9, 3.18 in 19 starts over the first four months, pitching well for a bad team, and the expected trade happened on August 1st when he and fellow veteran Lou Trivino were traded to the Oakland Athletics in return for four prospects: Connor Bowman, Luis Medina, JP Sears and Ken Waldichuk. However, things did not go great in New York as he was 1-3, 6.35 in 8 starts to finish at 5-12, 4.05. He only pitched one inning in the postseason, in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros when he pitched the 7th inning of a 4-2 loss and gave up the Astros' final run on a solo homer by Jeremy Peña.

There was more bad news as spring training got under way in 2023 as it was announced he would need to undergo shoulder surgery, forcing him to miss most or all of the season. He did make it back to the field, but it was for the Yankees' penultimate game of the season, on September 30th. By then, they had long been eliminated from postseason contention, in large part due to a lack of reliable starting pitching behind ace Gerrit Cole. He picked up a win over the Kansas City Royals in his outing, coming out of the bullpen to record four outs in a 5-2 win in what was a bullpen game. After the season, he became a free agent and on December 30th, it was reported that he had signed a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds for $16 million, pending his passing a physical.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (2021)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Zach Crizer: "Yankees acquire starting pitcher Frankie Montas in deal with Oakland, per reports", Yahoo! Sports, August 1, 2022. [1]
  • Mark Sheldon: "Reds add more pitching in deal with Montas",, December 30, 2023. [2]
  • Jaylon Thompson (USA Today): "Yankees pitcher Frankie Montas to undergo shoulder surgery, will miss most of season", Yahoo! Sports, February 15, 2023. [3]

Related Sites[edit]