Workout video shows Clarke Schmidt following in NL ace's footsteps ahead of big 2024

Pretty good footsteps, if you're looking to follow some.
New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals / Ed Zurga/GettyImages
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Throughout 2023 and prior to his insertion into the rotation, Yankees hurler Clarke Schmidt famously followed Gerrit Cole's lead. Where Cole tossed, he followed.

But, while sopping up as much of Cole's tutelage as possible likely has Schmidt mentally prepared for his big follow-up season, it's going to take some additional physical prep to handle his newfound workload. Schmidt can tweak his pitches and pronation all he wants, but no amount of alterations will change the fact that he surpassed his career high in innings pitched last season by a number that likely makes the Yankees uncomfortable.

The 28-year-old's bulkiest minor-league season featured 90.2 innings of work (you may recall he was drafted with Tommy John surgery still ahead of him). His most strenuous big-league campaign before 2023? 57.2 innings of (mostly) relief work in 2022.

But, year-over-year, his workload increased by over 100 innings; his first full season in the rotation saw Schmidt reach 159 innings, a number he'll be expected to replicate (or possibly surpass) in 2024. If it feels unlikely, that's because it is. But there's no time like the present for strength training and attempts to enhance crispness in a private lab.

Which is why Schmidt finds himself at Maven Baseball Lab this holiday season, the training home of Atlanta Braves stud Spencer Strider. The grind never stops, and the road to 175+ innings (or, at least, the road to increasing the Yankees' confidence that Schmidt can handle a starter's workload) begins in December, if not earlier.

Yankees' Clarke Schmidt following Spencer Strider's training methods after monstrous innings increase

Strider deserves credit for developing one of the most powerful lower bodies in the game, and his tree-trunk legs provide the righty the necessary drive to consistently execute his "laser beam" fastball at the top of the zone.

While one offseason at Maven's labs won't immediately turn Schmidt's thighs into Strider's, the Braves righty's endurance routine is an enviable one. No word yet on whether Schmidt will also be adopting Strider's intense pregame pliability workouts.

Confidence in Schmidt is wavering right now, though the dip has almost nothing to do with his true talent. His 2023 workload was objectively worrisome, and it's encouraging to see he's working hard to combat that perception already. At the very least, Schmidt appears to be barking up the right tree (trunk legs).

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