Frankie Montas' bold preseason prediction in doubt after Reds' starter roughed up

Frankie Montas didn't have his best stuff on Sunday vs. the Kansas City Royals.

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47)
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Fans will remember how free agent pickup Frankie Montas scoffed at PECOTA's 2024 projection for the Cincinnati Reds. After Baseball Prospectus pegged the Redlegs to win just 78 games following an 82-80 record in 2023, Montas took exception to the outlet's low expectations.

Montas said, “Give us some credit, geez. I’m going to win 20 myself.” That was bold claim for a pitcher who only appeared in one game a year ago and faced just seven batters. While fans throughout Reds Country have a similar level of confidence, they're not the ones toeing the rubber every fifth day in need of backing up their boastful proclamations.

Montas' prediction would seem to have taken a hit after the right-hander was lit up like a Christmas tree during his second Cactus Leauge start of the spring on Sunday. The former New York Yankees hurler went 2.2 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits including two home runs.

Frankie Montas' bold preseason prediction in doubt after Reds' starter roughed up

It's only spring training, so there's no need to freak out following one bad outing. Frankie Montas spoke after the Cincinnati Reds' 7-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals and cited a lack of fastball command for his poor performance on Sunday afternoon.

A pitcher like Montas, who appeared in just 1.1 innings last season following shoulder surgery, is bound to have some rust. Montas was dealt to the Bronx at the 2022 trade deadline, but appeared in just eight games for the Yankees. The right-hander was a free agent this offseason and inked a one-year deal with the Reds.

Montas is likely battling with fellow right-handed starter Hunter Greene for the opportunity to be named the Reds Opening Day starter. Reds manager David Bell has not made a formal announcement yet, but it would appear as though those two pitchers are the most likely candidates to get the ball on March 28th versus the Washington Nationals.

Montas had a bad day over the weekend, but he'll get a chance to get right back out there later this week. Aside from Nick Lodolo, who's still working his way back from a lower leg injury, every Reds starter who's competing for a roster spot has appeared in at least one game this spring. Montas will need a better performance later this week in order to ease the tension among the Reds fanbase.

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