Yankees have big plans for Clarke Schmidt after being called up from Scranton

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt
Jul 30, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt (86) pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees placed bullpen arm Scott Effross on the injured list Monday afternoon but called up Triple-A pitcher Clarke Schmidt to help supplement his loss.

Schmidt has performed well this season at the MLB level, hosting a 2.40 ERA, 4.31 xFIP, 8.70 strikeouts per nine, a 78.3% left on base rate, and 42.3% ground ball rate over 30 innings pitched.

The Yankees have utilized his minor-league options this season to make room for acquisitions at the trade deadline, but with injuries mounting, they have called on him once again to help soften the blow.

Manager Aaron Boone has big plans for Schmidt, preparing to utilize him in a myriad of different roles.

“…could be in any role, from starting to multiple innings out of the bullpen,” Aaron Boone said.

Schmidt has featured as a bullpen arm and starting pitcher this year for Triple-A Scranton. In the month of August, he features a 2.30 ERA, allowing nine hits and 14 runs over 15.2 innings. He struck out 21 batters in that time span.

The Yankees need to rely on Clarke Schmidt more given his numbers:

With Scranton, Schmidt hosts a 3.27 ERA with 12.55 strikeouts per 9 over 33 innings. Interestingly, Schmidt has been far better at the Major League level. He utilizes a slider, sinker, 4-seam fastball, and curveball as his primary pitches.

Schmidt‘s top pitch is his slider, generating a .118 batting average against with a 46% whiff rate and 28.6% put-away rate at 86 mph. He throws his slider 33.7% of the time but also heavily leans on his sinker at 95 mph on average. His sinker is generating a .286 average with a 16.4% whiff rate and 5% put-away rate. He’s been utilizing his slider far more frequently as the months have passed by.

Boone will consider using the young relief arm in high-leverage situations, notably closing out games.

“It wouldn’t shock me if he closed out a game. We’ll just piece it together depending on how we have to get there and where we are in the lineup.”

Given his versatility, the Yankees shouldn’t shoot themselves in the foot by not extrapolating on his qualities.