3 Yankees who could sneak onto Opening Day roster after recent injuries

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Clarke Schmidt, RHP

Pending unforeseen complications, Domingo Germán all but sewed up the fifth starter spot earlier this week, after the lanky right-hander battled poor spring umpiring to shut down the Pirates' bats again on Monday night.

It's the right move. He's the "proven" option. It's just a fifth starter role meant to soak up innings and create relatively little drama. Germán has looked sharp so far in camp, which shouldn't be the deciding factor ... but it helps.

So, what of Clarke Schmidt and his new cutter, meant to neutralize lefties and increase his shot at getting a rotation spot this season? Prior to Kahnle's injury, the Yankees probably intended to send him to Triple-A to keep him stretched out for the next starting pitching injury. Now, does he travel north for Opening Day as a short-relief weapon, just like last year? Does Krook get the "next in line" status at Triple-A, considering we've seen Schmidt perform well in late-inning scenarios, and haven't watched the left-hander do it yet?

Schmidt's future is likely in the rotation -- or, at least, it should be. But losing Kahnle could earn him more big-league appearances, even if they're not the kind he enjoys most.