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With Jordan Montgomery out, the Yankees will miss Adam Warren even more

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The reliever would have been a valued commodity to eat up innings in Montgomery’s absence.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Pittsburgh Pirates Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees received tough news on Wednesday when Jordan Montgomery was diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon in his pitching arm, and given a recovery time of six to eight weeks. The Yanks were criticized by some fans and experts for their lack of starting pitching depth and an inability to address that need during the offseason. That criticism has become magnified with the loss of their sophomore starter.

Montgomery had been solid for the Yankees in 2018, posting a 3.62 ERA in six starts, including his extremely abbreviated outing on Tuesday night when he left after a seven-pitch first inning with elbow tightness. Domingo German came on in relief of Montgomery to toss four shutout innings in a thrilling Yankees win. His performance earned him a spot as Montgomery’s temporary replacement.

German, who has yet to record a major league start in his very young career, should not be expected to go more than four or five innings in his starts while Montgomery mends. The Yankees will need an innings-eater to keep the rest of the bullpen fresh, but the ‘pen is rather depleted at the moment.

Adam Warren would normally be the man for the job, but he is still recovering from a back strain he suffered two weeks ago, and has yet to throw a baseball since being placed on the 10-day DL on April 21st. The Yankees’ starting pitching has been much better of late (the bullpen as well), which has offered little reason to miss Warren. That might change with Montgomery on the shelf.

Warren had been experiencing back tightness during his last appearance before hitting the DL. He went 2 23 innings in that outing against the Blue Jays, allowing one earned run on two hits. His ERA before the injury was 3.24, which is typical. He has never been an overpowering pitcher that racks up strikeouts, but he has always shown an ability to minimize damage and eat up innings. That’s something the Yankees may wind up needing in the coming weeks, but won’t have Warren as an option for the time being.

The Yanks are also still without Tommy Kahnle, and German sliding into the rotation slims the bullpen down even more. Who knows, A.J. Cole might actually get some action in pinstripes until reinforcements return. David Hale has been signed to a major league contract, as well. The Yankees would obviously prefer Kahnle and Warren, but as of the beginning of the week, Warren had yet to start playing catch and Kahnle isn’t expected to return in the near future.

Again, the Yankees are rolling and Warren’s absence hasn’t been incredibly noticeable. However, if German can’t get any length in his starts and Aaron Boone needs a horse out of the pen to bridge the gap to the later innings, Warren could be sorely missed.