Yankees’ Clarke Schmidt avoids major injury, positive update

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

It was only a matter of time before the New York Yankees picked up their first injury of the season, and this time around, it was starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt.

Schmidt exited spring training with elbow issues earlier this week, and with the expectation of missing several weeks, the injury could put his desire to land the 5th spot in the starting rotation in jeopardy.

At 25 years old, Schmidt is looking to take the next step in his professional career, and becoming a regular starter for the Yankees will be a significant jump. He has been working this off-season tirelessly to improve his mechanics and increase his pitch velocity. In 2020, he received his first action at the highest level, pitching just 6.1 innings and logging a 7.11 ERA.

The young starter was initially worried about the elbow injury but reports that it is minor have spurred optimism.

“Obviously, the day after my first [bullpen session], I was worried it was going to be more significant with the lack of range of motion that I had,” Schmidt said. “When I got the MRI back, everything was so clean structurally and it was the best-case scenario.”

The New York Yankees will have to proceed with caution, but all is good on the western front:

Despite the lack of severity surrounding the injury, he will still have to wait several weeks to return to full form. It could set him back in his quest to land a spot in the rotation, but he’s expected to be on the equation nonetheless.

“Obviously I won’t be competing for that fifth spot out of the gate, but my goal hasn’t changed at all,” Schmidt said. “I feel like I can really contribute for this team and I will do that. Right now, I just want to focus on getting healthy. That’s my No. 1 thing, just taking it day-by-day.

“This was the best I’ve felt coming into a camp, as far as from an arm and body standpoint. It was definitely a blow. It was very frustrating for me. This was one of those offseasons where I’d put in more work than I ever have before. But I’m thankful it’s not more serious and I should be back soon.”

Luckily, the Yankees were preparing to create a position battle in the fifth spot. They have Domingo German, Deivi Garcia, Michael King, and Schmidt as potential options. While losing Schmidt for a few weeks isn’t ideal, they have the depth to supplement his loss with ease.

Yankees News: First injury of spring training hits, Luis Severino update

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

It was only a matter of time before the New York Yankees suffered another injury, as it took just four days for pitcher Clarke Schmidt to pick up an ailment. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on February 17, and Schmidt will miss the next 3-4 weeks with a strained tendon in his right elbow.

“He came out of his bullpen (with a) a common extensor strain, which is, it’s on the other side of the elbow, which, I think, in the big picture is a good thing,” Aaron Boone said after Monday’s workout. “He’s had an MRI. His ligament, his Tommy John is intact and fine. But he is going to be shut down for a few weeks, and just kind of going through a range of motion things and making sure he’s symptom free before he starts throwing again.” Boone said Schmidt will be shut down from throwing for three to four weeks.

Schmidt made three appearances in 2020 for the Yankees, pitching 6.1 innings and earning a 7.11 ERA. Clearly, it wasn’t his time to make an impact, giving up five earned runs during his small sample size of innings. There’s still plenty of optimism that Schmidt will improve and take hold of a role in the future, especially since he’s only 25 years old. For the time being, he will spend the next few weeks rehabilitating, but it is a bit discomforting to know an injury has already struck.

Luis Severino update:

The Yankees are preparing to start the 2021 season without Luis Severino in their starting rotation. The expectation is that he will return sometime during the season, but there are no guarantees considering his past two years.

“I’m thinking he’s very much going to be a part of it. When is the question,” Boone said Monday. “Whether it’s midseason, whether it’s the All-Star break, the trade deadline, that’ll play itself out here over the next few months.”

Severino hasn’t pitched since 2019, when he lasted just 12.0 innings. Most of his action came toward the end of the season, and picking up another significant injury during last year’s training camp was not helpful for his progression. Management still believes he can be a focal point in the rotation, but optimism is dwindling.

“Right now I am getting back to [feeling like] myself. I feel like ‘OK, this is how it [is supposed to] feel,’” Severino said Monday. “Right now I’m at a great point.”

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

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

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.

New York Yankees: Top 24 Yankee prospects, one is taller than Aaron Judge

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

The New York Yankees have plenty of arms in the system, in no small part because they seem to coax more velocity out of young pitchers than any other organization. They also have a wave of Latin American prospects coming. In recent years they’ve done more with less and hit on a few high draft picks, too. Other than Jasson Dominguez, Oswald Peraza, and Anthony Volpe, the Yankee’s area of weakness with prospects is having power hitters. It is unusual for the Yankees, but they seem focused on pitching and contact hitters rather than the power guys.

To qualify for these rankings, a player must still be eligible for the rookie of the year award in 2021, which means they may not have more than 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched, or 45 days on an active roster heading into the season. The rankings are by Keith Law of The Athletic.

The first number is the Yankee’s number, and the second the top 100 MLB number in the listing.

1-48 Clarke Schmidt RHP

Clarke Schmidt is the New York Yankees’ number one prospect. Schmidt in spring training and summer camp dazzled manager Boone and other coaches. He, like Deivi Garcia, made his Major League debut last season. Schmidt made three appearances for the Yankees in 2020, two in relief and one as a starter. In the Majors, Schmidt had hiccups with unusual wildness resulting in no record. Should any pitcher in the Yankee rotation becomes injured, expect to see Schmidt on the mound at Yankee Stadium.

2-66 Jasson Dominguez OF

Jasson Dominguez is a powerhouse of a seventeen-year-old. He walks, talks, and acts like a man much older. He has a massive body for a young man. If all the scouts and hype are correct, he will become a big star outfield for the Yankees, but probably not until he develops further. It is not likely that he will show up at Yankee Stadium before he turns 20 years old.

3-81 Deivi Garcia RHP

Garcia made his Major League debut last season, going 3-2 in six games with an ERA of 4.98. This season, Garcia has a chance to be the anchor in the pitching rotation but more likely will start the season in Scranton Wilkes/Barre due to his elevated ERA this past season. If he isn’t there for the opening day, he surely will be at the Stadium at some point in the season.

4-NR Luis Medina RHP

Medina just missed an MLB rating. He is a great athlete with quite an arm and delivery. He can hit 99 mph but has trouble throwing strikes. In 2019 he walked 70 guys with 27 wild pitches in just over 103 innings. If he can put together a whole season building on his recent success, he could be a top 50 prospect at the worst.

5-NR Oswald Peraza SS

Peraza was signed in the international free-agent market in 2014. He is a very athletic shortstop with plus speed. Still very young, he is still growing into his body; the New York Yankees are hoping for big things from Peraza at some point.

6. Luis Gil, RHP

Gil is probably a reliever in the end but will continue to develop as a starter for now, with a dominant fastball in the upper 90s that could miss bats the way Chad Green’s does. He has the body to start and could end up in that role, but his secondary pitches will have to be developed.

7. Austin Wells, C

The Yankees’ first-round pick in 2020 was a bat-first college guy with the potential for a plus-hit tool. He’s a pull-oriented guy, but there’s nothing in the swing that says he can’t use the whole field. He’s probably not a catcher in the long run; if scouts thought he had even a 20 percent chance to catch, I would have put him in the top 100.

8. Yoendrys Gomez, RHP

Gomez sat at 94-95 mph as a starter for most of 2019, touching 98 mph with high spin, before wearing down in August, showing an average curveball and the potential for an average changeup as well. His delivery works well, and I like him as a potential three-pitch starter with no worse than average command.

9. Alexander Vizcaino, RHP

Vizcaino has been up to 99 mph with a plus-plus changeup, and the Yankees added him to the 40-man roster this winter. He’s a starter for now but could probably pitch in the big-league pen right now if need be. To remain a starter, he needs to find or develop a better breaking ball than his present slurvy slider.

10. T.J. Sikkema, LHP

Sikkema has barely pitched since the Yankees made him their competitive balance round selection in 2019, as they limited his work after he signed that summer, then had him pitch only a little in spring training last year, so he spent some time in the spring as a DoorDash driver while waiting to see if there’d be a season. He did work on his conditioning, at least, but we have to see him in games. Before the draft, he showed three pitches, up to 96 mph with a slider and changeup, showing excellent feel to pitch, working to both sides of the plate and changing speeds, and even sometimes his arm slot to get hitters out.

11. Ezequiel Duran, 2B

Duran is listed at just 5-foot-11, but the Dominican infielder, who signed for only $10,000 in 2017, produces very high exit velocities and legitimate line-drive power in games. There are swing-and-miss issues here, and his fringy arm might limit him to second base despite speed and hands that would play at short. The Yankees praise his work ethic, and he should get the most out of his tools, so he’s one to watch once we get these guys back on the field. A modest cut to his strikeout rate would mean a substantial boost to his long-term projections, making him a potential regular at second or above-average regular at short.

12. Estevan Florial, OF

Florial has been all sizzle and no steak — he has tools to rival guys in the global top 50, but he doesn’t recognize pitches and has had huge swing-and-miss issues, exacerbated by some unfortunate injuries to his hand and wrist in 2018-19. He has plus-plus power, can run and defend, and has bat speed, but he’s going to have to show better pitch identification at least to get to any of those tools. Florial was once the New York Yankees top prospect.

13. Kevin Alcantara, OF

Alcantara is still just 18 years old — he won’t turn 19 until July — but has been in the system for two and a half years, debuting in pro ball in 2019 and playing in the Yankees’ Dominican instructs last fall. He’s 6-foot-5 and has long strides to give him plus speed once underway, with good reads in center field to project as an above-average to plus defender there in time. His bat is behind, although his swing is reasonably short for someone with levers this long.

14. Albert Abreu, RHP

Abreu threw about 20 innings in 2020 between two major-league appearances and five starts in winter ball. He averaged 96.4 mph on his four-seamer in the big leagues but threw so many of them in the heart of the zone that hitters hammered the pitch, and he barely even used the curveball that at least used to be his best off-speed pitch.

15. Antonio Gomez, C

Gomez is an outstanding catch-and-throw prospect who impressed the Yankees in their Dominican instructs program this fall. He has strong hands and good rotation in his swing for future power as well, but the 19-year-old has just 57 pro-at-bats, all in 2019, in his career because of the shutdown.

16. Ken Waldichuk, LHP

The Yankees’ fifth-round pick in 2019, Waldichuk went from 90-91 mph that year to touching 98 mph in workouts this past summer, and he already had a solid-average curveball and above-average control. His delivery had the effort to it in college, but he should at least go out as a starter with the velocity spike and see if he can sustain that.

17. Anthony Seigler, C

Seigler has been snakebitten since the New York Yankees took him in the first round in 2018, suffering a concussion, a fractured kneecap, and strains to a hamstring and a quad muscle in just two-plus years in pro ball. He’s a switch-hitter and was a switch-pitcher in high school, with a strong arm and above-average receiving skills, but he hasn’t hit at all in pro ball and needs at-bats if he’s going to develop as a hitter.

18. Anthony Volpe, SS

Volpe was the Yankees’ first-round pick in 2019, despite a relative lack of tools on either side of the ball, based on their belief that he will end up with a plus hit tool because of his intelligence and instincts. He’s not a shortstop and doesn’t project to power or plus speed, so he has to hit, but like so many other prospects drafted or signed in the last year or two, he needs at-bats.

19. Josh Smith, SS

Smith was the New York Yankees’ second-round pick in 2019, with solid-average tools all around but nothing plus, although he did hit well as a junior at LSU and Staten Island after the draft. If he stays at shortstop, he probably has a utility infielder floor.

20. Beck Way, RHP

Way is a projectable, athletic right-handed starter heading to LSU from junior college had the Yankees not signed him as their fourth-round pick. He has good deception in his delivery and projects to have several solid-average offerings as he fills out. Given the Yankees’ history of helping pitchers add velocity, he’s a name to watch.

21. Hyden Wesneski RHP

Wesneski hit 100 mph with the short-season Staten Island Yankees in 2019. The Yankees selected him in the sixth round in 2019. He, like other minor leaguers, did not pitch in 2020.

22. Daniel Bies RHP

The Yankees picked Bies in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. He can look down on Aaron Judge. Bies is a giant at 6 foot 9 inches and 245 pounds. He has pitched for six Yankee minor league teams getting as high as high A Tampa in the past three seasons.

23. Trevor Hauver

The New York Yankees picked Hauver in the third round of the 2020 draft. He is a left-fielder that throws and bats from the left. He is from Arizona State. The Yankees plan to convert him to a second baseman.

24. Everson Pereira

The 19-year-old Venezuelan hit .263 for the Pulaski Yankees but took a step backward in 2019 with the short-season Staten Island Yankees hitting just .171. Ranked as the 5th best international talent going into the 2017 IFA pool, he is still young with plenty of time to develop.

2021 impact

García is already in the rotation right now. However, there is competition for those last two spots depending on the health of various other candidates. Schmidt is a rotation candidate for later in the season if the need arises. Abreu could appear in the bullpen, but I doubt he starts the Yankees after their offseason acquisitions.

These are only the New York Yankees’ top prospects, they have a total of 178 minor league players that hope to someday play at Yankee Stadium. With the Minor League contraction this year the Yankees have two fewer teams, so all of these players will fight for playing time making the competition even greater.

 

New York Yankees Prospects: Pitcher Clarke Schmidt is saying all the right things (video)

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

If the New York Yankees can re-sign batting champ DJ LeMahieu, their next priority is to improve both the starting rotation and the bullpen. Many believe that the Yankee’s pitching has failed them for the last two years and prevented them from a World Series berth. After the season, the Yankees let Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ all walk, leaving a rotation filled with question and untested arms.

The Yankees will get some relief as Domingo German is expected to be back with the team. Before being suspended, he was the Yankee’s best pitching in 2019, going 18-4. In the Dominican Republic, German in winter ball started with a bang going four scoreless innings in his first game. But after that, he got pretty beat up. In five starts with the Toros and 16.1 frames, he has allowed 17 hits and 13 runs, with nine bases on balls and 18 strikeouts. He may have just been kicking off the dust, but it concerns that we will likely be the number two pitcher if the Yankees don’t pick up a quality arm before spring training.

The Yankees have to look forward to the return of their best pitcher in 2018, Luis Severino, but that won’t happen until June at the earliest. But there is the same problem with Severino as there is with German, “Sevy” hasn’t pitched in two years and the Yankees have no idea if he can return to form and help the team in 2021. The Yankees also have Jordan Montgomery, who pitched 44 innings after coming back from Tommy John surgery. “Monty” was inconsistent with an ERA of 5.15.

The leaves all the young arms that the Yankees have an abundance of. Deivi Garcia made his Major League debut late last season, Clarke Schmidt, Michael King, Abreu, Gil, and a few others.  However, all of those arms are, for the most part, untested in a full season of games. Plus, Garcia didn’t pitch particularly well in winter ball. One of the New York Yankee’s best prospects is speaking out and is excited to contribute in 2021 for a World Series win.

There is no question that Schmidt will contribute in the starting rotation or out of the bullpen at some point in the season.

New York Yankees Player Profiles: Clarke Schmidt, will he be the fifth starter in 2021? (video)

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

The New York Yankees have many decisions to make this offseason and before spring training. But nothing is happening while everything is on hold until the front office finds out if they can re-sign DJ LeMahieu. Even if they do sign him soon, there will not likely be any changes until right before or during spring training. The New York Yankees will be conservative with spending as owner Hal Steinbrenner has already said he wants to cut payroll, not spend. With that stance, big signings are most likely not going to happen.

According to how you look at it, that news could be bad, or on the other hand, good for young Yankee prospects like the up and coming prospect Clarke Schmidt. Clarke made his major league debut on September 4, 2020. With the loss of Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ, Schmidt just might be considered for the anchor spot on the 2020 rotation. How he performs during spring training will make that more clear. But let’s start his rise to possible inclusion in the rotation from the beginning.

Clarke was born in Acworth, Georgia, and attended Allatoona High School and played baseball at the University of South Carolina. As a freshman, Schmidt pitched in 18 games and made 10 starts, pitching to a 2–2 with a 4.81 ERA and 55. He became South Carolina’s ace as a sophomore in 2016. He pitched in 18 games with 17 starts and went 9–5 with a 3.40 ERA and 129 strikeouts. Schmidt remained the team’s number one starter his junior year in 2017, but in April, he was forced to have Tommy John surgery to repair an ACL.

Nevertheless, he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 2017 draft but did hot play that year at all rehabbing. He made his pro debut with the Gulf Coast Yankees in 2018. He got a big signing bonus of $2.1 million. He quickly worked his way in the minors finishing the season with a 3.09 ERA in ​23 1/3 innings. He started 2019 with the Tampa Tarpons but in August was promoted to the Trenton Thunder, where he pitched until it was announced that there would be no minor league season. On September 4th, he was called up to the Stadium, where he pitched in relief. The 24-year-old ended up pitching in 3 games for 6.1 innings striking out seven but had an elevated 7.11 ERA.

He really impressed manager Aaron Boone and the coaching staff during spring training. Pitching coach Matt Blake feels that Schmidt is progressing well and is the second most promising pitcher after Deivi Garcia will most likely be the number three started when the season starts, assuming the Yankees make no moves to either bring back Masahiro Tanaka or pick up another mid-level pitcher. As it stands now, the number five spot is vacant and probably will be a competition between Schmidt and Jonathan Loaisiga. In the video below, Schmidt talks about his progress and what he is doing during the offseason to be ready for spring training.

 

 

 

New York Yankees: Buck Showalter recommends that the rotation should “go young”

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

On YES Network’s “Hot Stove”, analyst Buck Showalter suggested that the New York Yankees rotation should “go young”. The Yankees rotation is in a roster turnover, with many of their arms from 2020 hitting the free agency market this winter. They could choose to go to free agency to staff the rotation, or focus on in-house options.

Some of those in-house options include Jordan Montgomery, Deivi Garcia, and Clarke Schmidt. All three of these guys have had opportunities in the majors, with Montgomery being on the roster since 2017.

Montgomery pitched to a 9-7 in 2017, his rookie season. He had a 3.88 ERA 144 strikeouts and a 1.230 WHIP over 155.1 innings, finishing sixth in Rookie of the Year voting.

He would make six starts in 2018 before injuring his arm and being forced to undergo Tommy John surgery, sidelining him until the end of the 2019 season. Montgomery appeared twice leading up to the 2019 postseason to shake-off the rust, beginning his 2020 comeback.

His first full-season back saw him finish with a 2-3 record and a 5.11 ERA in 10 starts, slowly returning back to his normal self and showing glimmers of success.

Garcia and Schmidt, on the other hand, have far less experience. While Garcia made six starts in 2020, Schmidt appeared just three times. Garcia posted a 4.98 ERA, while Schmidt held a 7.11 ERA to his name.

If the Yankees were to focus on in-house options filling the rotation, it would be a high risk, high reward scenario. The team would save a lot of money by pitching young guys who have a lot of potential. On the other hand, the Yankees are one of the best teams in all of baseball, and not going after veterans could hurt their postseason chances.

Veterans provide experience with proven talent, something you won’t see in young pitchers. For the Yankees to have the most success, they may be better off mixing in-house guys with veteran free-agents.

Showalter’s proposal of the Yankees rotation going young sounds like a good idea, but won’t work. With how competitive the Yankees are, the can’t afford to stay away from high-profile, proven veterans. Having a mix of young pitchers may help the team, but focusing solely on young-guns will hurt the Yankees.

New York Yankees: Is Clarke Schmidt ready to be a solid big league contributor?

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

The New York Yankees, as an organization, are extremely excited to have a prospect like Clarke Schmidt waiting in the wings. In today’s MLB, good pitchers are very valuable, and Schmidt is clearly a noteworthy prospect. However, is he ready to hold a rotation spot and compete with the best of the best? Is he a finished product, ready to take some of the best offenses in baseball currently making their living in the AL East?

The answer is probably “no.” He’s not quite ready yet, as evidenced by his short cameo in the bigs in 2020. He made three starts at Double-A in 2019, yet because of the absence of a minor league season this year, he was taken by the New York Yankees to their alternate training site and made his debut, perhaps prematurely, but as a way of keeping him active.

In 6.1 frames, Schmidt had a 7.11 ERA, but a much more decent 4.30 FIP and a 5.49 SIERA. He is, however, best served at Triple-A for an extended period of time, ideally half a season. If he proves he can handle Triple-A hitters for several starts, he could get an opportunity with the Yankees in 2021. Of course, to this point, it is not a certainty that there will be a MiLB season next year.

The Yankees’ manager would like to see him prove himself in the high minors

Yankees manager Aaron Boone spent some time this week on the Bucky Dent’s “Deep To Left Podcast” with Jon Schwartz. There, the skipper hinted that Schmidt could use some more time in the minor leagues.

“Clarke Schmidt, we’re so excited about,” Boone said. “Still probably needs some more seasoning.” The 24-year-old righty should be a good starter for years to come, and there is nothing wrong on making sure he’s ready to contribute consistently.

“(Schmidt) obviously not having a minor league season this year is frustrating,” Boone said. “You want to be able to see those guys continue to develop because, in Clarke’s case, he’s a guy we’re pretty confident is going to be a really good pitcher in this league for a long time.”

The Yankees might need him soon into the 2021 season. As of now, only Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German, Deivi Garcia, and Mike King are healthy and under contract. Luis Severino should be ready come July, and Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ are free agents.

New York Yankees: Where do Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt fit in the 2021 puzzle?

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

There’s a lot of questions surrounding the New York Yankees about the 2021 season, but one may be no bigger than the starting pitching situation. The team has their ace in Gerrit Cole, but the rest of the rotation remains unknown for 2021.

Three of the Yankees usual five starters will be hitting the free-agent market this winter in Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and JA Happ. Luis Severino, sidelined by Tommy John surgery, will reportedly return in June or July. The team also has control of Jordan Montgomery for several more years, a valuable lefty. Additionally, Domingo German is eligible to pitch in 2021 after missing the 2020 season to suspension.

So with all these guys having the potential to return to the rotation in 2021, where does this place Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt?

Well, that depends on what the Yankees do with some of the other guys. With Cole being the only lock in rotation in 2021, they have four spots to fill and a lot of pitchers that want those spots.

Tanaka is reportedly drawing interest to play back in Japan, where he’s likely to get more money. Rumors indicate he’ll be offered 20$-25$ million dollars a year in Japan. Since the team already has a lefty in Montgomery, they may not want to bring back Paxton since he is relatively injury prone. And Happ, he’s a lefty as well, but his velocity is dipping and he’s starting to lose his stuff.

So it’s very possible the Yankees don’t bring back any of these three free-agent pitchers. However, the team seems interested in landing Trevor Bauer in free-agency, a strong contender to be the NL Cy Young award winner this season.

For Garcia and Schmidt to see starts in 2021, the team can only really sign one free-agent, unless they move on from German. With his suspension, rumors indicate the Yankees may get rid of German, even though he’s reinstated for 2021. If they keep German, it would likely put him with Montgomery, Cole, a free-agent, and either Garcia or Schmidt.

The two young arms of Garcia and Schmidt likely will be competing against each other in Spring Training for a spot. The winner gets a rotation spot, the loser goes to the bullpen. Both arms are too valuable to keep in AAA to start the season.

But, when Severino gets healthy, he’ll be placed in the rotation. So someone would have to get moved from the rotation, and that would likely be either Garcia or Schmidt.

On the other hand, if the Yankees sign two free-agents, it’s likely neither Garcia or Schmidt will start games. That’s unless Paxton is among those signed. If they hold on to Paxton, Montgomery risks losing a rotation spot. It’s highly unlikely the team rolls without a lefty starter, but it isn’t unheard of them having multiple lefties.

Regardless of what happens in free agency, it’s highly unlikely Clarke Schmidt or Deivi Garcia spends 2021 in AAA. The two are MLB ready and have endless potential. Garcia proved to the Yankees in 2020 that he deserves a spot in the big-leagues, and Schmidt’s stuff has looked great. He just needs more major league innings.

Even if Garcia and Schmidt aren’t starters in 2021, there should be a spot for them in the Yankee bullpen.

 

 

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees get shut out in final game of the season

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees last night hoped to gain momentum by winning their last two games of the season, going into the playoffs.  Instead, the Yankees were shut out by the Miami Marlins 5-0.  Yankee pitcher Clarke Schmidt made his major league debut as a starter. He didn’t pitch badly, keeping the Yankees in the game, but he did give up three runs in just four innings, walking two and racking up four strikeouts. That was enough for him to take the loss, as the Yankee offense was again quiet.

Last night’s game was just another instance of Yankee pitching not being stellar and the inability of the lineup to shore him up. It has been a trend for most of the year that has caused the Yankees long losing streaks and, at times, successful periods.  If the Yankees are going to succeed in the postseason, the offense will have to step it up, as they will be facing some of the best pitchers in the game.

At the top of the first inning, the New York Yankee’s  Clarke Schmidt took to the mound and encouraged the Yankees by putting down the Marlins, one, two, three, using only seven pitches. The Marlin’s pitcher Jose Urena pitched a clean bottom of the frame.  Schmidt’s dominance in the first inning was missing at the top of the second inning when he gave up three runs, which would be all the Marlins would need. With two on, he allowed Jazz Chisholm a standup double driving in two. Cory Dickerson singled up the middle, scoring Chisholm from second, and it was 3-0.

Continuing in the bottom of the second inning, Starlin Marte took to the plate, and Schmidt plunked him in the helmet, knocking him out of the game. Schmidt reloaded the bases, but Jesus Aguilar grounded out, saving Schmidt of a blowout in the inning and keeping the Yankees in reach of a comeback.  Unfortunately, the comeback was not to be had, as the Yankees failed to string any hits together, allowing them to cross home plate.

At the top of the third inning, DJ LeMahieu, who had walked in the first, sent a comebacker lined back at Marlins starter Jose Urena knocking him to the ground in writhing pain. The ball ended up hitting his pitching hand, and it became the second Marlin to be knocked out of the game by being hit by a Yankee.

The remainder of the game was relatively unremarkable for the Yankees. At the top of the fifth, Brian Anderson hit a homer off the Yankee reliever Jonathan Holder. Nick Nelson came out in the seventh, and in the eighth, he gave up a home to Jazz Chisholm to center, and it was 5-0 Marlins, which would be the final score in the game.  Schmidt took the loss, and Daniel Castano, who pitched brilliantly for the Marlins, in relief of Urena, got the win.

All in all, this is not the way the New York Yankees wanted to end their season.  But there are a few good takeaways from the game.  The biggest is that the Yankees played a clean errorless game without any injuries. Also, Brett Gardner, in his last game of the season,  went 3 for 4, which is a good sign going into the playoffs. DJ LeMahieu nailed down his batting title, being the first player to win it in both leagues in the modern era. Luke Voit, who has been this year’s workhorse for the Yankees, came away with the home run leader title.