Reds starter Frankie Montas' preseason prediction appears foolish amid 2024 struggles

Frankie might've overplayed his hand.
Frankie Montas
Frankie Montas / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

In January of this year, the Cincinnati Reds inked pitcher Frankie Montas to a one-year, $14 million deal as the team was looking for a veteran presence atop the starting rotation. Montas had six seasons in the majors with some decent numbers to show for it. From the time he was primarily used as a starter —2018 and onward — Montas put up more than respectable numbers when healthy.

From 2018-2022, Montas started 97 games and held a 3.70 ERA through 545.1 innings with a 110 ERA+. He even managed to place sixth in AL Cy Young voting in 2021. Montas was hurt for much of the 2023 season and only made one appearance of 1.1 innings for the New York Yankees.

The 2024 season was supposed to be a new start for Montas. A new city, surrounded by a stable of young talent who were hungry for a playoff berth, Montas looked primed for a breakout year. Montas' preseason prediction was that he would be a 20-game winner this season. Things have not worked out that way thus far.

Reds' RHP Frankie Montas predicted he'd win 20 games in 2024.

In the 2024 season, Montas is 2-4 through 10 starts with a 4.60 ERA which is the second-worst in the rotation trailing only Graham Ashcraft. Montas is averaging 3.4 walks per nine innings pitches and is only fanning 6.3 batters for every nine innings of work.

In a season where batting averages are down along with average starter's ERA, Montas is seemingly bucking the trend across the board. The right-hander has proven over his career that he has good stuff, but he hasn’t shown much prowess outside of his first few appearances.

Montas has given up five runs in three of his starts already this year which doesn’t bode well for a team that tends to be feast-or-famine in the batters' box.

One factor that may be worth noting is the fact that Montas has faced a lot of tough opponents already this season. The only two non-contenders Montas faced were Opening Day against the Washington Nationals and his sub-one inning outing against the Los Angeles Angels where he left in the first after being struck by a comebacker.

Montas has been able to get through six innings in five of his 10 starts which says something about the teams' confidence in him. But in games where he goes less than six innings of work, Montas has given up 16 earned runs in just 23 innings which evens out to a 6.26 ERA.

Montas is capable of turning things around and being a highly contributing member of the rotation this year, but it's hard to see a world where he is able to make good on his preseason prediction. 

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