Yankees lose Jordan Montgomery to Tommy John surgery, increasing their need to go get rotation help

The New York Yankees have lost one of their promising young pitchers to Tommy John surgery.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Yankees announced sophomore southpaw Jordan Montgomery will under reconstructive elbow surgery this Thursday. Montgomery suffered a flexor strain last month and attempted to rehab the injury. Given the typical Tommy John surgery rehab timetable, he will likely be sidelined until next year's All-Star break.

The 25-year-old Montgomery made his big league debut last season, going 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA (116 ERA+) in 29 starts and 155.1 innings. He led all rookie pitchers in WAR. Montgomery had a 3.62 ERA (120 OPS+) in six starts and 27 1/3 innings this season before his elbow started barking.

With Montgomery sidelined, the Yankees have used rookie righty Domingo German as their fifth starter behind Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, and Sonny Gray. German has a 5.44 ERA (80 ERA+) in 41 1/3 total innings split between the rotation and the bullpen. Needless to say, the Yankees need another starter, and they did even before Montgomery got hurt.

Even with their rotation issues, the Yankees have the third best record (38-18) and fourth best run differential (+79) in baseball at the moment. Their rotation depth chart looks like this though:

  1. Luis Severino (amazing)
  2. Masahiro Tanaka (4.79 ERA)
  3. CC Sabathia (3.73 ERA)
  4. Sonny Gray (5.50 ERA)
  5. Jordan Montgomery (out with Tommy John surgery)
  6. Domingo German (5.44 ERA)
  7. Chance Adams (5.26 ERA in Triple-A)
  8. Justus Sheffield (3.80 ERA in Triple-A)

Not great. Adams had offseason surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow and he has not pitched well early this season, which is unfortunately for him (and the Yankees), because chances are he'd be in the rotation right now over German had he been performing. Sheffield just got to Triple-A and is the team's best pitching prospect. They won't rush him to MLB before he's ready.

The trade market has not yet started to heat up but it should soon, once the annual amateur draft passes this week. Texas Rangers southpaw Cole Hamels is the top name on the pitcher trade market at the moment, though more names will join the mix before July 31. The Yankees were always going to be involved in the starting pitcher trade market. Montgomery's elbow surgery means they'll be that more aggressive.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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