During the offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ first significant move wasn’t signing a marquee free-agent starting pitcher, but acquiring a trio of prospects in a three-team trade with the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds.
Los Angeles received infielder Micah Johnson, pitcher Frankie Montas and outfielder Trayce Thompson, while sending Brandon Dixon, Jose Peraza and Scott Schebler to Cincinnati. The White Sox netted Todd Frazier from the Reds.
Upon completion of the trade, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Montas would be developed as a starting pitcher.
Like other young pitching prospects in the organization, Montas figured to be in contention to contribute at the Major League level this season. He appeared in seven games (two starts) with the White Sox last season, going 0-2 with a 4.80 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 15 innings.
While Montas could still very well make his Dodgers debut, getting acclimated with his new teammates was slowed a bit due to a Feb. 12 rib resection surgery. The removal was caused by a stress reaction in Montas’ rib.
Although he was projected to miss two to four months from the time of surgery, Montas maintained a positive outlook on the scenario, via ESPN’s Doug Padilla:
“I always say things happen for a reason,” Montas said. “I was really excited being here with a new team to show what I can do and do whatever I can to help the team in the big leagues. This happened so just try to get ready, come back and do what I can to help the team.”
To create room for Cuban signee Yaisel Sierra, the Dodgers placed Montas on the 60-day disabled list on Feb. 21. The earliest he can be activated off the DL in June 2.
In 23 games, all starts, with Double-A Birmingham last season, Montas went 5-5 with a 2.97 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and had 108 strikeouts over 112 innings pitched. Opponents hit .219 against the hard-throwing righty. Montas has resumed throwing as his recovery process begins.