Clarke Schmidt will be recalled from the Yankees’ Alternate Site and make his first career MLB start on Sunday against the Marlins in the team’s regular season finale, manager Aaron Boone announced Saturday.
Schmidt debuted out of the bullpen on Sept. 4 against the Orioles and struggled, allowing two runs on three hits in 1 1/ 3 innings. But he rebounded nicely against the Blue Jays three days later, tossing a scoreless inning with a pair of strikeouts against the Blue Jays.
“My first time out there I let things get a little too quick and maybe was a little amped up,” Schmidt said.
The Yankees sent Schmidt back to Scranton to build his arm strength back up, and the right-hander said he was pitching in simulated games every fifth day to try to replicate the schedule he’d have as a starting pitcher.
“I'd like to say it's like riding a bike but I don't know if that's exactly how it is,” Schmidt said of returning to the mound as a starting pitcher. “I've been doing it my whole life, so there is a comfort there. I don't feel too much nerves, it's not something looming over my head. I've been down to Scranton and thrown a lot of innings down there and I've been throwing the ball pretty good. I know it's not the same exact game experience, but we try to treat it like a game down there as far as preparation.”
As far as whether this is an audition for the postseason roster, Boone said he knows Schmidt has the ability and makeup to help his team, whether it’s in the immediate future or a little bit longer down the road.
“Sure, there's a chance,” Boone said of Schmidt being included on the postseason roster. “He's a part of our 40 [-man roster] and obviously we think he's going to be a special pitcher in this league. I'm looking forward to him going out there tomorrow and hopefully setting a good tone for us in the final regular season game. He has all the equipment to be really good, even at this point in his career.”
“I think if you have any type of competitive nature, that's going to be on your mind,” Schmidt said of that possibility. “I know that I can help this team, whether that's out of the bullpen or starting. I know I have the ability to get outs, and important outs at that. This is a big opportunity for me going out there [Sunday], but I try not to look too much past that. I'm just focused on the day and I know that if I go out there and do what I'm capable of doing anything can happen.”