Oakland A’s still do not know what they have in Frankie Montas

May 24, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) watches Seattle Mariners center fielder Jarred Kelenic (10) run the bases after hitting a solo home run during the fifth inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) watches Seattle Mariners center fielder Jarred Kelenic (10) run the bases after hitting a solo home run during the fifth inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /
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There was a time when Frankie Montas looked like the next ace for the Oakland A’s. Back in 2019, he appeared to be on his way to an All Star berth, and possibly a run for the AL Cy Young Award, when he was suspended for PED use. Although he returned to make one last start, his promising season was essentially over in June, leaving the A’s to wonder if he was truly that type of pitcher.

Montas started off the 2020 season on fire as well. Through his first four outings, he again looked like a Cy Young candidate, but he then missed a start with what was termed a minor back issue. Considering he struggled for the rest of the season, that back injury may have been more serious than anyone realized.

Oakland A’s need to figure out what they have in Frankie Montas

Monday’s outing essentially showed his two sides. Montas struck out 11 batters in his six innings, showing his potential to dominate. He also allowed four runs on six hits, five of which went for extra bases, including two homers.

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That game was basically what Montas has been throughout this season. He has posted a 4.92 ERA and a 1.434 WHiP in his 53 innings, leading the AL with 60 hits allowed, including 11 homers. Meanwhile, he has issued just 16 walks while striking 56 batters, showing solid command of the strike zone.

But there is always something that seems to be missing with Montas. In 2019, it was a matter of whether or not his performance was chemically enhanced. Last year, he tried pitching through a back issue that may have been worse than either he or the A’s let on. This season, Montas has not been able to keep the ball in the yard.

And yet…there is hope. There is the hope that one day, in the not too distant future, Montas will put everything together. There is the hope that he will fulfill that destiny and finally dominate all season without any issues. But until then, we are left with those maddening flashes of his potential.

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The Oakland A’s still do not know what they have with Frankie Montas. Just like the rest of us, they are waiting for that one year it all comes together.

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