MLB was supposed to start on March 26. However, due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, play was stopped and the start of the 2020 season was pushed back. There is, as of now, no set date to resume spring training and begin playing games that matter. However, that hasn’t stopped New York Yankees‘ hurler Clarke Schmidt, who is still preparing at home for whenever public health and MLB officials consider that the conditions to play are acceptable.
Schmidt said he was throwing to Cincinnati Reds’ catcher Tyler Stephenson, his buddy, before the state of Georgia (where he lives) implemented a full-on lockdown. Now, he has other partners helping him stay in shape.
Schmidt told Brendan Kuty in a long, entertaining interview for NJ.com that his brother Clete, who used to play professional baseball and retired this past year,is catching his bullpens. “He’s extremely athletic,” he said.
The Yankees’ prospect is getting ready and breaking down video
The promising pitcher said that while doesn’t have the Edgertronic at his house, he does have “certain types of cameras that aren’t as high speed as obviously the other ones. But whether it’s a small video or whatever it might be, I’ve been able to have my father or my mom or whoever it may be video taping.”
His family is helping him reach the major leagues, which could happen as soon as this year as things stand. The Yankees may need fresh arms if expanded rosters are going to be in play.
So, what is Schmidt looking in his videos? “I want to look at release and finger release and you can slow it down enough to where you can see noticeable differences and you can look at axises. You can make Sharpie balls where you color with the Sharpie on the ball to see where the ball is spinning when it comes off your fingers. It will tell you the axis on some of your pitches. I’ve been doing that, working on some stuff with different pitches and stuff like that.”
In four spring training games and seven innings, Schmidt had a 2.57 ERA for the New York Yankees. He had a good showing, and while he will ideally benefit from a bit more seasoning in the minors, he could certainly hold his own in the bigs if that’s the case.