The New York Yankees took on the Toronto Blue Jays on a Tuesday evening, spotlighting Clarke Schmidt as the starting pitcher. In his debut year as a starter, Schmidt has had a rollercoaster of a season. Entering the match with a 4.56 ERA, the 27-year-old aimed to solidify his reputation as a key arm for the Yankees moving forward. However, his Tuesday night performance raised more questions than it answered.
Over five innings, Schmidt surrendered four hits, four earned runs, and two home runs. He threw a total of 91 pitches, clocking in 52 strikes, and exited the game with a slightly worse ERA of 4.65.
Bullpen Woes: Zach McAllister Struggles
The bullpen didn’t fare much better. Zach McAllister yielded three hits and two earned runs during his single inning of work. With the majority of the Yankees’ starting rotation plagued by injuries and inconsistencies, the team has had to rely on a mix of journeyman players and up-and-coming prospects to fill the void. Preserving the health of long-term assets has become a priority for the remainder of the season.
Yankees’ Offense Struggles
On the offensive front, the Yankees managed only six hits against Toronto’s 10. The team struck out a staggering 12 times, with DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge responsible for four of those at the top of the order. Judge did make some contribution, however, registering two hits and a run over four at-bats.
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Gleyber Torres: A Consistent Force in 2023
Second baseman Gleyber Torres stands out as a silver lining. He closed the day with two hits and an RBI, lifting his seasonal batting average to .272. Alongside a .345 OBP and a .462 slugging rate, Torres ranks second on the team, trailing only Aaron Judge.
Health Concerns: The Argument for Shutting Down Aaron Judge
The Yankees face a dilemma with Judge, who’s recovering from a toe injury sustained earlier in the year. Given the season-ending Tommy John surgery for Jasson Dominguez and the low-grade hamstring injury to 22-year-old outfield prospect Everson Pereira, a conservative approach with Judge may be wise.
Looking Ahead: Michael King’s Chance to Shine
The Yankees are set to clash with the Blue Jays once more on Wednesday night. Michael King will take the mound, transitioning from the bullpen to the starting rotation. He’s already shown promise in several outings, hinting that he could be a valuable asset as a primary starter for the 2024 season.
By navigating these turbulent waters filled with injuries, young talent, and shifting roles, the New York Yankees continue to shape their strategy not just for the remaining games but for future seasons as well.