A significant issue for the New York Yankees this year has been the pitching woes in the starting rotation. A majority of the pitching corps has either suffered significant regression or been sidelined due to injuries this season and there is a possibility that the Yankees will blow up the entire starting rotation.
However, amidst these challenges, a hidden gem has emerged within the Bombers’ pitching corps. Other than Cy Young Award candidate Gerrit Cole, Clarke Schmidt has also truly shined for the Yankees this season.
Clarke Schmidt has been rising for years
Schmidt has been a member of the Yankees for a few years now. New York selected Schmidt in the first round, 16th overall, in the 2017 MLB Draft. He has been a part of the Yankees’ minor league system for some time and has had periods on and off the majors.
Schmidt was fully called up in 2021 and has been pitching in the Majors since. His tenure has not been the greatest and his time was ticking to stand out. This season, though, he has managed to shine.
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Staying healthy is the key to success
The main key for Schmidt this season has been his ability to stay healthy. Schmidt has dealt with an elbow injury for several seasons and even underwent Tommy John Surgery in 2017. Schmidt’s elbow also posed problems in 2021, limiting his pitching opportunities. However, this year, he has been completely healthy and has showcased the talent he possesses.
A breakout 2023 season
This season, Schmidt has posted some solid numbers, with statistics that include a 4.56 ERA, 133 strikeouts, a 1.34 WHIP, and a record of 8-8. Schmidt has emerged as the second-best starting pitcher on the roster, and it’s not even close. What’s remarkable about Schmidt is his consistency in his pitching; he performs as if he never even had elbow issues. This season has been a true breakout campaign for the young pitcher.
He is only getting better and better. When Schmidt is starting games, it is a must-watch as he has been a bright spot amidst a dismal season.
What do the Yankees have in Schmidt?
The Yankees may have something in Schmidt. At 27 years old, he is only going to get better if he stays healthy. It will be very interesting to see what happens to Schmidt in the offseason as his contract expires at the end of the season. The Yankees would be wise to re-sign Schmidt to an extension with how he has stood out in a struggling starting rotation that should look a lot different next season.