The New York Yankees will be forced to use a “sixth” starter for the first time in 2022 this week (thanks, rainouts!) when they travel to Chicago to face the bizarre White Sox.
Like elite starting pitching? Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech and the Sox have enough top-end talent to scale the mountain back to .500. Like defense? WOOF! The White Sox are, for some reason, terrible at that, from Tim Anderson to Gavin Sheets.
Still, they can pitch, they can mash, and they might round into form as the class of the American League Central before all is said and done. So, with the need for an additional starter this week, why did the Yankees opt for Luis Gil and his 9.53 Triple-A ERA over Clarke Schmidt, who we recently watched dominate at the MLB level?
In short, it’s because as of 2022, they legally can’t go to Schmidt. This wasn’t a “decision.” It was just an inevitability.
The Bombers wish they had more talent currently spinning the ball well at Triple-A so that this decision between 40-man roster members could’ve been harder, but in all honesty, this was a “Deivi or Gil?” situation and Gil’s been decidedly less bad with better stuff.
Schmidt? Yeah, no can do, according to certified rule-knower Jack Curry.
Yankees promoting Luis Gil over Clarke Schmidt because they, uh, have to
Technically, the Yankees could’ve faked an injury here to get Schmidt up to the bigs sooner, but that seems like a whole big thing. Instead, they’ll roll the dice on Gil, who parlayed an historic 2021 debut stretch packed with shutouts into an excellent spring training … until his very last appearance, when he was rocked by the Blue Jays.
All in all, Gil finished 2021 at the big-league level with 38 strikeouts in 29.1 innings of 3.07-ERA baseball, using an upper-echelon fastball to blow hitters away above the zone. In his first four Triple-A starts of 2022, though, he couldn’t control it, posting a 12.00 ERA with 12 walks in 12 innings.
Symmetrical! Fun! Terrible!
At the very least, Gil’s coming off his best start of the season, a five-inning, two-run performance with nine whiffs and no walks. If you believe in momentum…
Schmidt buzzsawed big-league batters from the bullpen during the first part of the 2022 season, saving Gerrit Cole’s bacon in Detroit and posting an 0.96 WHIP overall across 8.1 innings as a middle-innings savior.
Unfortunately, he’ll have to wait a few more days before he’s legally allowed to return to the bigs. If you’re angry, blame Rob Manfred. As always.