James Kaprielian to undergo Tommy John surgery

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The 2017 season will be another lost year for the Yankees’ top pitching prospect. Right-hander James Kaprielian will indeed undergo Tommy John surgery, the Yankees announced this morning. Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the surgery next Tuesday. Brian Cashman strongly indicated surgery was coming while speaking to reporters yesterday.

“We met last night,” said Scott Boras, Kaprielian’s agent, to Mike Mazzeo. “And it was something where, after the discussion with the doctors and compiling the proper information and having a history with pitchers, you don’t want to send a pitcher out to the mound where he’s going to have something in the back of his mind that’s troubling him from start to start. The surgery allows us to alleviate those concerns.”

Kaprielian, who turned 23 last month, missed nearly the entire 2016 regular season with a flexor tendon strain, and Cashman said the same injury resurfaced this spring. Last year’s rehab essentially failed. Here’s a quick recap of Kaprielian’s timeline:

  • April 25th, 2016: Placed on the minor league disabled list with elbow pain after three starts with High-A Tampa.
  • June 28th, 2016: Diagnosed with a flexor tendon strain after the elbow continued to be a problem and did not show improvement. ElAttrache examined Kaprielian at the time.
  • October and November, 2016: Makes seven starts in the Arizona Fall League. PitchFX says his fastball averaged 95.7 mph and the scouting reports were glowing.
  • March, 16th 2017: Throws two innings in his only Grapefruit League appearance. The Yankees took it slow with Kaprielian in camp and limited him to simulated games early on.
  • March 26th, 2017: Throws 4+ innings in a minor league spring game, according to Josh Norris. As far as we know, that’s the last time he pitched before this latest injury.
  • April 6th, 2017: Elbow begins acting up again.

These days Tommy John surgery comes with a 14-16 month rehab, sometimes even 18 months. The days of a 12-month rehab are all but over. A few years ago a rash of pitchers needed a second Tommy John surgery and the industry seems to have concluded the 12-month rehab was too aggressive. Kaprielian figures to be out until midseason 2018 at the very least.

Between the flexor injury last year and the Tommy John surgery now, Kaprielian is essentially going to miss two full seasons, likely more depending on the length of his rehab. Throwing 45 total innings, all in High-A and the AzFL, from Opening Day 2016 through midseason 2018 is, obviously, really bad. That’s an awful lot of development time Kaprielian won’t be able to make up. Sucks, but what can you do?

Despite last year’s injury, Kaprielian was very highly regarded coming into the season. I was surprised at how high he ranked on the various top 100 lists this spring, and I’m pretty sure I wrote that a few times. Look at his placement on the various top 100 lists:

2016 Rank 2017 Rank
Baseball America top 100 Not ranked 87th
Baseball Prospectus top 101 Not ranked 58th
Keith Law top 100 87th 28th
MLB.com top 100 Not ranked 55th

Kaprielian missed most of last year with a major elbow problem and he still climbed on every single list. That’s how impressive he looked during his admittedly brief AzFL stint last year. He was healthy and throwing well. The same was true in Spring Training. Then something gave. Pitchers, man.

The Yankees selected Kaprielian with their first round pick (16th overall) in the 2015 draft and paid him an above-slot $2.65M bonus. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, Kaprielian’s velocity ticked up his draft year at UCLA, and again in pro ball both after the draft and early in 2016. Velocity spikes seem to have a way of leading to elbow woes.

I suppose the good news is Kaprielian is a top of the line makeup and work ethic guy who will attack his rehab. Tommy John surgery has a high success rate, but it’s not perfect. If it fails with Kaprielian, I don’t think it’ll be due to a lack of effort on his part. Kaprielian has been through worse in his life. Hopefully everything goes well and he comes back a better (and healthier) pitcher next season.

Montgomery showed the Yankees just about everything they wanted to see in MLB debut

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

For the first time this season, the Yankees used their fifth starter Wednesday afternoon. It happened a little ahead of schedule too. The Yankees planned to wait until April 16th to use their fifth starter, but with Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia having to work harder than usual over the weekend, they decided to give them extra rest. That’s how Jordan Montgomery wound up making yesterday’s start.

Montgomery beat out the other fifth starter candidates in Spring Training — Montgomery was more of a long shot for the job at the start of camp — and he pitched well in his MLB debut. Not great, not awful. Three runs allowed (two earned) on five hits and two walks in 4.2 innings before hitting his pitch count. The third run scored courtesy of a Starlin Castro error while Bryan Mitchell was on the mound.

“I thought he did a pretty good job,” said Joe Girardi following yesterday’s game. “I didn’t think he had great command of his fastball today, but I thought he did a really good job of pitching out of some jams. They had a number of opportunities to score, and they just scored really in that first inning, in a sense. Very pleased with what he did.”

Girardi confirmed Montgomery will get another start in five days — that lines him up to pitch Monday’s series opener against the rebuilding White Sox — which sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s really not. The Yankees could have easily sent Montgomery back to Triple-A following yesterday’s game, called up an extra reliever — or an extra outfielder with Brett Gardner banged up — for the time being, then gone with Chad Green next time the fifth starter is needed.

I’m always inclined to grade a pitcher on a curve when he makes his first big league start because inevitably there are nerves involved. That said, I thought Montgomery did some things yesterday that were very encouraging and bode well going forward. Four things, specifically.

1. He pitched inside. All throughout baseball, pitching inside is becoming something of a lost art. I’m not saying pitchers should bean batters or anything like that, but command the inside corner of the plate and get the hitter to move his feet a bit. Don’t let him look out over the plate all game.

Montgomery pitched inside an awful lot yesterday, especially to right-handed batters. The home run he gave up to Rickie Weeks was a fastball that was supposed to be inside, but leaked back out over the plate. It happens. The new Trackman system has been hit or miss so far this season — the system recorded only 57 of Montgomery’s 89 pitches, so hit or miss is putting it nicely — and here’s what we have on Montgomery’s pitch locations against righties, via Baseball Savant:

jordan-montgomery-vs-rhbThere are a bunch of pitches missing there due to Trackman’s wonkiness, but Montgomery got in on righties with his fastball and also what the system is calling a slider. A few of them looked like cutters to me. Who knows? Whatever it was, it had a little bite to it and Montgomery threw it in on righties. He used it to fan Evan Longoria in the fifth inning:

jordan-montgomery-slider

That’s a nasty little pitch under the hands. The hitter can’t do anything with that other than foul it off. Point is, Montgomery did not hesitate to pitch righties inside — probably because he knows he needs to do that to be successful — with both a fastball and some sort of slider/cutter thing (slutter?). For a young guy making his first start, that’s impressive. Lots of times young kids will shy away from the inner half.

2. He got swings and misses. Last season in the minors Montgomery struck out 22.7% of the batters he faced, which is solid and nothing more. The year before he had a 24.1% strikeout rate. Chance Adams, for comparison, had a 29.1% strikeout rate last year. That’s more in line with what you’d expect to see from a legitimate big league pitching prospect.

Montgomery had no trouble missing bats Wednesday. Trackman says he recorded eleven swings and misses among the 57 pitches recorded, and during the YES game broadcast and postgame, both David Cone and Jack Curry said they counted 17 swings and misses out of Montgomery’s 89 total pitches. Remember how good Michael Pineda was Monday? He had 15 swings and misses out of 93 total pitches.

I wouldn’t count on Montgomery sustaining a 19.1% swing and miss rate because no one does that — Max Scherzer led all starters with a 15.3% whiff rate last year — but I think the tools are there to get strikeouts, specifically his slider and changeup. He used both pitches to get outs yesterday. Montgomery doesn’t have to be Scherzer when it comes to missing bats, but he can’t be a strict pitch-to-contact guy like a Twins pitcher either. Not in Yankee Stadium.

3. He kept his release point tight. If nothing else, Montgomery gives the hitter a very different look. He’s 6-foot-6 and he throws the ball right over the top, so it’s coming from an extreme downhill angle. The 57 pitches worth of Trackman data we have say Montgomery released the ball from, on average, seven feet above the base of the mound, which is pretty crazy. More importantly, the data shows he had a nice tight release point for all his pitches. From Brooks Baseball:

jordan-montgomery-release-points

That’s a thing of beauty. A lot of times you’ll see a pitcher drop down ever so slightly for his slider, or maybe vary his arm speed so much between his fastball and changeup that they have different release points, but not Montgomery. Not yesterday, at least. All his pitches come together to form a blob on the chart because he released them from the same spot. That adds deception and helps his pitches play up.

4. He pitched out of jams. Montgomery pitched in five separate innings yesterday and in only one, the second, did he set the side down in the order. The third and fifth innings were the most impressive to me even though Montgomery didn’t get a chance to finish the fifth because of his pitch count.

In the third the Rays put runners on first and second with one out on a single (Peter Bourjos) and a hit batsman (Kevin Kiermaier). Montgomery then struck out Longoria and Weeks to escape the jam. Then, in the fifth, he allowed a leadoff double to Steven Souza before rebounding to strike out Kiermaier and Longoria to end his afternoon. He made some pretty big pitches in sticky situations.

Jams are inevitable and with a young pitcher, especially one making his first career start, you kinda worry things will unravel. Montgomery has a reputation for being tough and unflappable on the mound, which serves him well in those spots. We saw it in Spring Training and we saw it again yesterday. It doesn’t mean he’ll pitch out of every jam. But it does show he won’t be overwhelmed.

* * *

The Yankees have plenty of fifth starter candidates — Green and Luis Cessa are waiting in Triple-A, most notably — so Montgomery is going to have to pitch well to remain in the rotation. All things considered, his first start went well, and he’ll get another chance to show he can do in five days. The Yankees are looking for help both now and for the future, and while acknowledging one start is just one start, I saw some encouraging signs from Montgomery during his MLB debut yesterday.

DotF: Sheffield debuts, Abreu strikes out eleven in wins

Here are the day’s notes:

  • Brian Cashman discussed RHP James Kaprielian‘s injury following today’s game. The video is above. Cashman acknowledged surgery is on the table and Kaprielian will take a day or two to decide on the next step. It’s the same injury as last year, so the rehab essentially failed. Sucks.
  • Matt Eddy compiled a list of every player to begin the season on the minor league disabled list. There are no real surprises for the Yankees. RHP Austin DeCarr came back from Tommy John surgery last year, threw 39.1 innings, and is now hurt again. Not sure what’s wrong with him this time around, but a disabled list stint is ominous.

Triple-A Scranton (10-6 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 4-5, 1 RBI, 1 K — off to an 11-for-20 (.550) start … he’s yet to play a position other than shortstop
  • LF Clint Frazier: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 HBP
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K
  • 1B Rob Refsnyder: 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K — oh Ref
  • RF Mark Payton: 3-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • 2B Ruben Tejada: 1-2, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K — quietly off to a 5-for-12 (.417) start with six walks and one strikeout
  • RHP Brady Lail: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 5/3 GB/FB — 53 of 83 pitches were strikes (64%) … Triple-A has never been kind to him
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HB, 5/0 GB/FB — 28 of 39 pitches were strikes (72%) … nice bounceback outing after allowing six runs in one inning in his season debut
  • RHP Ernesto Frieri: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — six pitches, six strikes

[Read more…]

Wednesday Night Open Thread

Good win this afternoon. The Yankees looked terrible last week, but three straight wins have a way of washing that all away. How about Aaron Judge? I’m pretty sure he’s already my favorite player on the team. He went 2-for-3 with a single, a homer, and a walk today to raise his season batting line to .308/.379/.692 (212 wRC+). Totally sustainable, in my opinion. Judge also has a 20.7% strikeout rate. And he threw a runner out on the bases. Please be real please be real please be real.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Mets are playing tonight and MLB Network will show the Cubs and Dodgers. The Cubs are handing out their World Series rings prior to that one. They only raised the banner the other night. Also, the (hockey) Rangers play their first playoff game tonight, so that’ll be cool. The Knicks and Nets will also be in action, but they’re no fun. Talk about those games or anything other than religion or politics here.

Aaron Judge shines, Montgomery impresses in 8-4 Yankees win over the Rays

This was a day game with a lot of action. We saw a rookie make his MLB debut, the Yankees scoring in bunches to come back from a 3-0 deficit, a scary collision and, well, New York coming up victorious in the end. With today’s win, New York already clinched the home opening series versus Tampa and improved to a 4-4 record.

(Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

The debut

Jordan Montgomery’s first big league inning was a whirlwind. He struck out the first two hitters on eight pitches. He then walked Evan Longoria after getting ahead in the count 0-2 allowed a two-run homer to Rickie Weeks. Montgomery threw a fastball right down the middle and those tend to get crushed in the bigs. Welp, welcome to the big leagues, kid. He didn’t let that get to his head too much though.

After that frame, Montgomery turned in a solid outing: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB sounds pedestrian, but 7 strikeouts stand out, and so do 17 whiffs. Sure, the Rays lineup doesn’t scare too many people, but for a rookie making the first ever ML start, that’s pretty solid.

Neither broadcast had a radar gun most of the game due to technical difficulties, but according to Brooks Baseball, Montgomery topped out at 93.4 mph with his four-seamer. What is more impressive though, is the pitch’s average vertical movement of 11.92, which means that he has a nice “rise” to his fastball, as David Cone mentioned several times during the YES broadcast. It is physically impossible for fastball to actually “rise” during flight but it can stay on higher plane and confound hitter’s eye levels. FanGraphs has the average vertical movement for lefties at 9.4, for reference. Also, Montgomery generally did a good job at staying away from the meat of the plate with his command.

From Baseball Savant
From Baseball Savant

He was able to locate a lot of the pitches on the bottom part of the zone (or lower). Maybe a few hittable ones up the zone but it would be strange not to see that from a guy making his first MLB start, with adrenaline, etc.

There aren’t a lot of guys like Montgomery in the bigs – a tall lefty with very high arm slot that can throw any pitch at any count. He has definitely earned a more long-term trial in the Yankee rotation with today’s start. I think, if the ML coaching can add some jazz to his secondaries, he can become a more dominant starting LHP long-term. That’s just my outlook though.

Runs! 

After being shut out by Blake Snell for the first four innings, the Yankees had a big offensive chance in the fifth. Chase Headley singled and Aaron Judge followed it up with a walk. Kyle Higashioka hit a grounder that Tim Beckham couldn’t handle and bases were juiced for Pete Kozma. It seemed like the Yankees were going to waste an opportunity though – Kozma struck out and Jacoby Ellsbury popped out on the first pitch. Thankfully, Aaron Hicks worked a full-count walk to push in Headley to make it a 3-1 game.

Rays manager Kevin Cash brought in Jumbo Diaz to face Matt Holliday. Diaz uncorked a slider that Derek Norris couldn’t block and let it slip in between his legs, scoring Judge. 3-2 Rays. With bases loaded — after Holliday’s walk — and a righty pitcher up, Joe Girardi stuck with Chris Carter, who ended up popping out to end the threat. Should be noted that Greg Bird was available off the bench, but I guess Girardi felt more comfortable sticking with Carter there.

In the sixth, with Diaz still on mound, Starlin Castro and Headley both singled to get on base. Judge followed it up with a 116.5 mph rocket up the middle to tie it up, 3-3. Higashioka’s bunt ended up being a force out at second base, putting the Yanks in a one-out, runners in corners chance. Girardi opted to pinch-hit Kozma with Brett Gardner and the Rays put in LHP Xavier Cedeno to counter.

Be well, Brett (Al Bello/Getty Images)
Be well, Brett (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Gardner hit a comeback grounder to Cedeno but the lefty’s throw to first got Weeks to handle it on the baseline. Weeks, who hadn’t played much first base, got on Gardner’s way and they both collided very, very brutally. It was a scary sight. While the go-ahead run scored for New York on the play, both Gardner and Weeks were taken out of the game. Hope they are both alright. You hate to see injuries like that. Gardner’s injuries were described as a “bruised jaw and strained neck.” Yikes. Get well soon, Brett.

On a much more positive note, the Yankees managed to score more in that frame. Ellsbury singled to center to score Higashioka and Hicks’ RBI ground drove in Ronald Torreyes, who replaced Gardner. New York came away with a 6-3 lead out the bottom of sixth.

They weren’t done scoring though. In the bottom of seventh, the Rays had Erasmo Ramirez up on the mound. With two outs and Carter on first, Ramirez served up a two-seamer on the inside part of the plate to Aaron Judge. Judge, with his huge power, drove the baseball into Monument Park for a two-run homer (435 feet, to be exact). It didn’t look like Judge got all of the pitch either — he didn’t get his arms extended and looked maybe a little bit jammed. Nonetheless, he made a solid contact off the bat and the ball just simply traveled far enough and a bit more. After today’s game, Judge is hitting .308/.379/.692 in 29 PA’s. That’s a reason to be excited!

Miscellaneous

All Rise (Al Bello/Getty Images)
All Rise (Al Bello/Getty Images)

The bullpen turned in another solid outing today. Bryan Mitchell, one of the starter candidates from the ST, relieved Montgomery and recorded four outs. After Mitchell, Tyler Clippard tossed a scoreless frame with two strikeouts. It looked like Yankees would go with Betances in the 8th but Judge’s homer bumped their lead for five runs, which prompted Girardi to put in Tommy Layne instead. Layne allowed a run in an inning’s work, which shaved Yankees’ lead to 8-4. Well, that’s how the score remained for good. Jonathan Holder came in to pitch the ninth but allowed two baserunners while getting an out, making it a save situation for Aroldis Chapman. Chapman got the remaining two outs to earn the first save of the season, and that’s all she wrote.

While the top of the lineup was a bit quiet today (combined 2-for-16 from Ellsbury, Hicks, Holliday and Carter), the no. 5 to 7 hitters – Castro, Headley and judge – played catalyst to Yankees’ comeback today. They combined for 6-for-11 day with three RBI’s (all coming from Judge, by the way).

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

Here’s box score and standings rrom ESPN and WPA graph from FanGraphs.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will play a 7:05 pm EST game tomorrow for a series finale versus the Rays. Luis Severino will make his second start of the year versus Matt Andriese. If you want to check out the game, RAB Tickets got you.

It’s sounding more and more like Shohei Otani will come over to MLB after this season

(Atsushi Tomura/Getty)
It’s both Otani and Ohtani. (Atsushi Tomura/Getty)

Through seven games this season, it couldn’t be any more obvious the Yankees have some work to do to build a pitching staff going forward. Even while acknowledging Masahiro Tanaka is not really this bad, the fact is he can opt-out after the season, and who knows what happens after that. Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia will be free agents too. The kids are promising but unproven.

The most interesting name on the free agent pitching market for the foreseeable future will be Nippon Ham Fighters ace Shohei Otani, the 22-year-old who throws 100 mph when he pitches and socks dingers when he doesn’t. Otani recently suffered a thigh strain running out a ground ball and will miss six weeks, though that shouldn’t affect his stock going forward. Muscle pulls happen. It just means scouts won’t be able to see him for a few weeks.

Otani appeared on 60 Minutes this past weekend, and while he stopped short of saying he will come over to MLB this offseason, he did say, “Personally, I don’t care how much I get paid, or how much less I get paid, because of this,” which seemed to acknowledge baseball’s silly international hard cap. Because he is under 25, Otani is subject to the hard cap, which limits each team’s annual international spending to $4.75M to $5.75M.

The (Ham) Fighters, for what it’s worth, will post Otani whenever he decides to come over to MLB, according to Jon Wertheim. From Wertheim:

While neither party will confirm the particulars, the team clearly seems to have made an agreement with the Ohtani family: When Shohei was ready to declare yosh ganbarimasu (“I’m gonna go for it”), the Fighters would not stand in his way. Rather, they would agree to “post” him, taking the negotiated fee from a major league team (currently $20 million), relinquishing his rights and wishing him well.

Their agreement reportedly dates back a while. Otani flirted with the idea of coming over to MLB as an 18-year-old out of high school a few years ago a la Junichi Tazawa, but the (Ham) Fighters convinced him to stay and agreed to post him for MLB clubs when the time comes. This will be his fifth season in Japan, and I can’t imagine he wants to stay much longer. He won a championship and was named MVP last year. What’s left to accomplish?

The natural reaction is to think once Otani decides to come over — and it sure sounds like it could happen this offseason — the Yankees should go after him hard because pitchers this young and this talented are hard to find. The Yankees are in the middle of a youth movement and Otani would fit right in as the pitching center piece. A few problems with that though:

  1. The hard cap evens the playing field. The Yankees can only offer Otani whatever they have in international money, which is $4.75M. That’s assuming they don’t sign any Latin American players on July 2nd, and supposedly the club already has some agreements in place. The Yankees can’t flex their financial muscle and blow everyone away with an offer.
  2. Does he want to hit? I’m guessing yes. So the real question is will the Yankees let him hit? Otani’s decision could very well come down to a team agreeing to let him hit and pitch. Start every fifth day and then DH a few times between starts. That’s risky, man. Imagine losing your ace because he gets hit by a pitch or pulls a muscle running the bases, which is exactly what happened with this recently thigh injury.
  3. Otani is said to prefer the West Coast. Supposedly Otani prefers the West Coast because it’s closer to home, though it’s unclear how much of a priority that really is for him. Tanaka was said to prefer the West Coast too, remember. Just something to keep in mind.

As much as the Yankees could use a young power starter like Otani to continue their youth movement, this isn’t a matter of simply wanting him and bidding. The international hard cap levels the playing field, and Otani’s potential preferences of the West Coast and being allowed to hit complicate things. In the past, the Yankees could up the ante and pay more to lure players. They can’t do that in this situation.

I’m really curious to see how teams approach the July 2nd international signing period. Do they do nothing and save their bonus pool money in hopes Otani is posted? That’s really risky. You could end up with no international talent during the 2017-18 signing period — or at least no high-end talent — and no Otani either. Keep in mind several big market teams like the Cubs, Dodgers, Nationals, Giants, Astros, and Cardinals are basically out on Otani. They’re limited to the $300,000 bonus maximum this coming offseason due to past international spending.

The Yankees can offer Otani the opportunity to be a part-time designated hitter — he’s a lefty with pull power! — and hey, playing for the Yankees comes with some pretty great endorsement opportunities. That’s pretty much the only thing that separates them from the pack now. The signing bonus playing field is level. I’d love to see the Yankees get Otani — or a similar high-end young starter — though the more time that passes, the more I feel like things stack up against them.

Game Eight: Montgomery’s Debut

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The fifth starter competition is officially over, just a little earlier than everyone expected. The Yankees were planning to wait until April 16th to use their fifth starter, but after Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia had to work hard in their starts over the weekend, the club decided to give them an extra day. Jordan Montgomery arrives today as the fifth starter. It will be his MLB debut.

Montgomery wasn’t exactly a prime contender for the fifth starter’s spot in Spring Training, but he outpitched everyone ahead of him in the pecking order, which is why he’s getting a shot today. The Yankees still have Chad Green and Luis Cessa in Triple-A, plus Bryan Mitchell is in the bullpen, so Montgomery will have to pitch well to keep this rotation spot. Here is the Rays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Aaron Hicks
  3. DH Matt Holliday
  4. 1B Chris Carter
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. RF Aaron Judge
  8. C Kyle Higashioka
  9. SS Pete Kozma
    LHP Jordan Montgomery

Not the best weather in the Bronx this afternoon. It rained on and off for much of the morning, though that’s cleared out now. It’s still cloudy and windy though. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1pm ET — I have no idea why this is a 1pm ET start, it’s not a getaway day for either team — and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: Greg Bird (ankle, flu) is doing much better. He’s out of the lineup today because the Rays are starting a left-hander, not because he’s still hurting or sick … Didi Gregorius (shoulder) started taking swings recently, so he’s progressing with his rehab … James Kaprielian (elbow) had his visit with Dr. Neal ElAttrache yesterday. Still no update though.

Roster Move: To get Montgomery on the 40-man roster, the Yankees have … done nothing yet. Still no announcement. They’re waiting until the last minute, apparently. designated Johnny Barbato for assignment, the team announced. Chasen Shreve was sent down Monday to get Montgomery on the 25-man roster.