Yankees' Clarke Schmidt avoids serious injury, hopes to be back throwing in three weeks

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Corey Hersch
·2 min read
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Clarke Schmidt
Clarke Schmidt

After the Yankees shut down Clarke Schmidt in spring training with elbow troubles earlier this week, the right-hander revealed on Saturday that he avoided serious injury and expects to be back throwing in about three weeks.

After throwing his first throwing his first bullpen session of the spring, Schmidt said he felt pain in his forearm. Though forearm pain would make any pitcher fear the worst, he’d already been through Tommy John surgery in 2017, and this pain was on the other side of his arm.

An MRI revealed an injury to the forearm extensor, but one that should return to normal with some rest.

“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.”

With the fifth spot in the Yankees rotation up for grabs, Schmidt said he added a weighted-ball program to try to do everything he could to earn the job. Though the initial goal of throwing with the weighted ball was to clean up his mechanics, a byproduct was that his velocity was up three-to-four mph than it normally is at the start of spring.

“Being a young guy, you're trying to figure out what works for you,” Schmidt said. “You don't know what works for you unless you experience it. So I started throwing my bullpens earlier this year because I'm competing for a job. I almost wanted to come in as if it was midseason. I think coming into my first bullpen I was letting it go too much.”

Schmidt said he isn’t positive that’s what caused the injury, but it certainly could have been a contributing factor. Regardless of the setback, he still thinks he’s got plenty of opportunity to prove he deserves a chance to help the team.

“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.”