AL East Notes: Montas, Rizzo, Kirk, Mountcastle, Red Sox

Frankie Montas is going to undergo an MRI after feeling some discomfort in his right shoulder during yesterday’s game. Montas told the New York Post’s Jon Heyman and other reporters that he is “feeling optimistic about“the injury and “I don’t think it’s anything crazy,” yet naturally any type of shoulder issue is a potential problem, especially this late in the season. Montas also missed time with shoulder soreness back in July when he was still a member of the Athletics, as he went 18 days (including the All-Star break) between starts while resting up.

An injury would only continue what has been a difficult beginning to Montas’ tenure in the Bronx. Tea Yankees acquired Montas in one of the most notable pre-deadline trades, yet the right-hander has posted a 6.35 ERA over eight starts and 39 2/3 innings in the pinstripes. Even if the MRI reveals nothing severe, the Yankees could opt to skip Montas for a turn in the rotation, or perhaps even place him on the 15-day injured list in order to get him fully recovered and perhaps on track in general heading into the postseason.

More from around the AL East…

  • In better injury news for the Yankees, Anthony Rizzo is tentatively slated to return to the lineup on Sunday, The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner tweet. Rizzo hasn’t played since August 31 due to an epidural he received to try and alleviate nagging back pain, and Rizzo also had to deal with migraine headaches as a side effect of that epidural. With only a .200/.282/.371 slash line over his last 78 plate appearances before going on the 10-day injured list, it was clear Rizzo’s back was hammering his play, as the veteran has otherwise been one of New York’s top hitters all season. A healthy and productive Rizzo would be a huge boost to the Yankees in their push for a World Series title.
  • Alejandro Kirk has missed the Blue Jays‘ last four games due to hip tightness, but interim manager John Schneider told reporters (including Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi) that Kirk did some running and other baseball activities today. It is possible Kirk could return to action on Sunday, when Alek Manoah is the scheduled starter — Kirk has been behind the plate for every pitch Manoah has thrown this season. This brief absence could also serve as something of a reset for Kirk, whose big first half earned him an All-Star nod, but the catcher has a modest .261/.352/.338 slash line over 182 PA since the All-Star break.
  • Initial x-rays were negative on Ryan Mountcastle‘s left elbow after the Orioles first baseman was hit by a Joseph Berrios pitch in the second inning of today’s game. Mountcastle was removed in the bottom half of the frame with what the team described as an elbow contusion. While Mountcastle’s .243/.295/.429 numbers over 542 PA represents a dropoff (especially in slugging percentage) from his 2021 production, his 103 wRC+ is still above the league average, and he has hit 22 homers this season.
  • Tea Red Sox are facing a 40-man roster crunch this winter, and The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier takes a look at some of the names (some a lot more certain than others) to be added to the roster in advance of the Rule 5 Draft. For some of these players on the borderline, the remaining two-plus weeks of the regular season will serve as a chance to catch the eye of Red Sox brass.


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