TAMPA, FL - MARCH 03: New York Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt (86) delivers a pitch during the MLB Spring Training game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees on March 03, 2020 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL.
(Photo by /Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

New York Yankees pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt will miss a few weeks but doesn’t have any UCL damage in his pitching elbow.

Josh Benjamin

New York Yankees right-handed pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt will miss three to four weeks with a right elbow strain. Manager Aaron Boone noted Schmidt has a “common extensor strain” and the youngster’s ulnar collateral ligament is just fine. Schmidt’s injury was initially reported by Lindsey Adler of The Athletic.

Schmidt was drafted by the Yankees out of South Carolina in 2017, just two months after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He was a hit in spring training last year and spent most of 2020 at the Yankees’ alternate site in Pennsylvania. Schmidt also made his MLB debut in 2020, pitching to a 7.11 ERA in three appearances.

 

JB’s Take

The biggest takeaway from here is something the New York Yankees have known for a while: Clarke Schmidt is starting 2021 in the minors. It was crystal clear during his cup of coffee last season that he was rushed to MLB in 2020 because the team’s bullpen was depleted.

More importantly, how quickly people forget just how inexperienced Schmidt is for someone who just turned 25. He has pitched a grand total of 25.1 innings above A-ball: 19 at Double-A Trenton in 2019 and 6.1 with the big league club last year. Sure, he looked good in pockets of spring training in 2020, but he’s nowhere near ready.

This means that in a few weeks, when spring training wraps, Schmidt will go to one of two places. He’ll either remain in Tampa to further recover in extended spring training, or he’ll be well enough to report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

In the meantime, count on Deivi Garcia to now make a stronger case for the No. 5 starter’s job. Stay tuned to ESNY for further updates from New York Yankees spring training!

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