Yankees: Aaron Boone’s use of Clarke Schmidt is entirely bizarre
By Jerry Trotta
The Yankees’ use of RHP Clarke Schmidt has been befuddling, to say the least.
The New York Yankees’ continued woes reached a recent low on Monday as they blew a 6-2 lead by conceding a whopping 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning against Toronto en route to another confidence-snatching loss.
It was unfortunately the same old story of neither the offense nor pitching clicking at the same time. Seven runs should be enough to win a game, folks! Now, to be fair, Jordan Montgomery did well to surrender just two runs in 3.2 innings of work despite not having anything close to his best stuff.
Though a Luke Voit error certainly didn’t help matters, the likes of Chad Green and Adam Ottavino capitulated in the sixth, recording just one out in almost an hour (!) of game time. By the time the Yankees got up to bat again, the score was 12-6 and their spirits were completely shattered.
You might think that we’d have nothing more to complain about, as the game was seemingly done and dusted by the top of the seventh frame. However, manager Aaron Boone deciding to use Clarke Schmidt in the final inning made next to zero sense, compounding a continual issue for this team of using their arms in inexplicable situations.
Perhaps the club wanted to inject some confidence in Schmidt while throwing him in a no-pressure situation after his unsteady MLB debut last Friday. The coveted pitching prospect was called upon to protect a one-run lead with two ducks on the pond and two outs against Baltimore once upon a time when “winning” was still a thing.
As we know, Schmidt was roughed up by the Orioles, giving up three consecutive hits while allowing four runs to score (two of which were his) before recording an out. However, as previously mentioned, his next outing came in a blowout, and we have so many questions.
First, why is the 24-year-old stud being deployed as a reliever when he spent his entire life training and building up stamina to be a starter? His arm isn’t trained to pitch (at least not effectively) in one- and two-inning spurts. And if Schmidt is going to be used out of the bullpen consistently, can the Yankees at least find a happy medium for him?
Thus far, he’s appeared in a blowout and with a game on the line. Maybe utilize him as a long-inning relief option when a starter exits early? That’s the only logical role for Schmidt if he’s only going to be given two days off in between outings.
If the Yankees want to use him more frequently, they should throw him in the middle innings — let him start the inning, obviously — of a close game. Of course, however, there’s always the option of having Schmidt replace JA Happ, who’s logged a 4.68 ERA through five starts this season, in the rotation. At the very least, we figured he would piggyback Deivi Garcia again on Wednesday, with four days’ rest in between. Nope! See you Monday! What?
We had no issue with Schmidt’s first appearance, but it’s not just a different page from his second outing — it’s from an entirely different book. Use Schmidt, a starter, like he’s a young starter. It’s really a simple concept, but the Yankees are treating it like rocket science for some reason.