Yankees prospect shut down for a month after being diagnosed with an elbow injury

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt
Feb 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt (86) pitches during a live batting practice at spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ pitching depth suffered a blow early in spring training, as right-handed prospect Clarke Schmidt will have to be on the shelf for up to a month as he deals with an elbow issue.

Aaron Boone announced to the media that Schmidt had suffered an injury on the “common extensor” tendon. According to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, it is in the interior side of the right (pitching) elbow.

The promising young prospect is expected to be shut down for the next three or four weeks, and after that, he will have to get up to speed assuming there are no setbacks in his recovery.

The Yankees’ hurler had an MRI over the weekend, and was examined by Dr. Ahmad, who confirmed the diagnosis according to Rivera.

Schmidt had an outside chance of making the Yankees’ rotation, although the smart money was on him starting the year at Triple-A and getting accustomed to competing in the high-minors before throwing him into the fire again.

The Yankees need to have him around as quality depth

He made his Major League debut with the Yankees in the shortened 2020 season, but wasn’t particularly successful over a small sample.

In three games, one start, Schmidt pitched 6.1 frames with a 9.95 K/9 and a high 7.11 BB/9. He finished with a 7.11 ERA and a much more decent 4.30 FIP.

Now, the Yankees will likely hold a competition between Domingo German and Deivi Garcia to see who will take the fifth spot in the rotation. Other arms, such as Jhoulys Chacin, Asher Wojciechowski, and Michael King could be considered dark horses.

Schmidt is routinely ranked as one of the Yankees’ top three prospects, and is already a Tommy John surgery survivor, having had the surgery back in 2017. If he has no setbacks, he could pitch himself into a rotation spot later down the road.