James Paxton’s injury is a golden opportunity for New York Yankees pitching prospects Deivi García and Clarke Schmidt.
The New York Yankees are in a bit of trouble. An injury and a suspension have taken two of their starting pitchers out for at least the first month and a half of the season. That means there’s an opening in the back of their rotation.
Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ are set to be the Yankees’ top four pitchers on Opening Day. A number of individuals are thus vying for the No. 5 spot, but arguably none are more exciting then Deivi García and Clarke Schmidt.
And according to Sweeny Murti of WFAN, both are ready to fight for the job.
“I prepared myself very well to come here to camp,” García said. “It would be humbling to get that call to help the team.”
“This is an awesome opportunity, obviously,” Schmidt said. “If the door’s cracked open and I see a little light there I’m going to try to kick it down.”
García is likely the bigger name of the two. According to MLB Pipeline, Deivi is the No. 62 prospect in baseball. He reached Triple-A last season at age 20, which was the extent of his rise.
He stumbled in a major way with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre though, pitching to a 5.40 ERA, 5.77 FIP, 10.1 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, and 1.8 HR/9.
Schmidt just underwent his first full season removed from Tommy John surgery, one where he performed excellently. He spent time with the Advanced-A Tampa Tarpons along with Double-A Trenton.
Schmidt hasn’t pitched in Triple-A yet, so it’s hard to see him breaking camp with the Yankees. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be surprising. If Schmidt dominates in spring training, there’s no reason not to give him the spot.
This decision has to be one that’s carefully made. The Yankees can’t afford to add another injury-plagued player to the rotation.