Clarke Schmidt’s brazen aplomb renders Yankees’ Blake Snell pursuit irrelevant


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Whether it is braze chest-thumping or overconfidence, Clarke Schmidt‘s self-assured demeanor has been a topic of conversation within the New York Yankees clubhouse for several years. But his latest gusty comment about the team’s pursuit of free-agent ace Blake Snell has added another dimension to it.

Responding to a question about potential concerns surrounding Clarke Schmidt’s mindset amidst trade rumors involving Blake Snell, manager Aaron Boone smiled broadly. As the current fifth starter, the pitcher would be most likely to be removed from the rotation if the Yankees were to acquire Snell, although such a move is currently considered improbable.

Boone commented on Clarke Schmidt before his spring training debut against the Rays, expressing admiration by stating that the pitcher’s confidence seems unparalleled, almost as if “he’s not human.”

The Yankees manager while addressing speculations about Snell landing in the Bronx and Clarke Schmidt losing his rotation berth told:

“Clarke’s not human. Clarke’s the most confident person in the world. That’s (Snell) so much speculation. He’s getting ready to go dominate the league in his mind, and rightfully so. He’s now established himself in our eyes as a starting pitcher in this league, and I’m ready for him to take another step in his continued development in that regard.”

Clarke Schmidt’s swagger surprises Yankees

Veteran pitcher JA Happ remarked on Clarke Schmidt’s “swagger” in 2020 spring training, and his celebratory “Schmidt Strut” after strikeouts has been playfully mimicked by teammates in private settings.

Clarke Schmidt, a 28-year-old right-hander, navigated a season of ups and downs in his first full year as a starter for the Yankees in 2023. He finished with a record of 9-9 and a 4.64 ERA, showcasing flashes of brilliance but also struggling with consistency throughout the season.

The season began with challenges for Clarke Schmidt, as he started 0-3 with a concerning 6.84 ERA in his first six appearances.However, he displayed signs of improvement mid-season, going 2-2 with a more respectable 3.52 ERA over the following six starts.

His most impressive stretch came between May 19 and August 8, where he compiled a record of 7-2 with a solid 3.12 ERA.Unfortunately, fatigue seemed to impact Clarke Schmidt toward the end of the year. He pitched to a 1-3 record with a concerning 5.73 ERA in his final seven starts.

Clarke Schmidt acknowledged the perspective, stating that he understands it as a sports fan himself. He mentioned being a fan of teams and empathized with the desire for potential free agents. Schmidt expressed understanding of the sentiment, noting that he would feel the same way in such situations.

Therefore, Clarke Schmidt, upon hearing Boone’s remark about his self-confidence, chuckled and responded with “that’s fair play,” indicating that he is not perturbed by the speculation surrounding Snell.

Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt is with teammate Nestor Cortes during a practice session at Yankee Stadium in 2022.
Clarke Schmidt

The pitcher stated that he plans to demonstrate his abilities this year, emphasizing that actions will speak louder than words. Reflecting on his experiences from last year, Clarke Schmidt expressed confidence in his capabilities and his potential for growth. He conveyed his excitement about showcasing his skills to the fans.

Is the implication that the fifth position in the pitching rotation is securely managed?

“I would say it is, for sure,” Clarke Schmidt said.

Drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 2017 draft at the 16th spot, Clarke Schmidt hails from a military background, attributing a significant portion of his confidence to his upbringing by his parents and his religious beliefs.

Thus, Clarke Schmidt isn’t growing weary of the ongoing discussion surrounding Blake Snell. If he is, he’s effectively tuning it out.

Clarke Schmidt remarked that it seemed he couldn’t avoid the topic, indicating that it was simply part of the business. He stated that he would continue to focus on his daily routine.

He mentioned that he’s accustomed to tuning out distractions, citing experiences like dealing with a high ERA during the initial stages of last season in New York and handling the challenges that came with it.

Clarke Schmidt mentioned that being part of a major-market team like this comes with its own set of challenges, including the constant speculation about potential free agents, fan expectations, and external influences. He added that he usually manages to block out all those distractions quite effectively.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Clarke Schmidt’s brazen aplomb renders Yankees’ Blake Snell pursuit irrelevant

  1. Unlike most fans, apparently, I’m quite content with Clarke Schmidt as our 5th starter; in fact, I prefer it to spending an obscene amount on Snell, who’s performance over the years have been highly erratic, while pitching 134 innings per year, on average, over his career, after excluding the shortened Covid season.

    At an average of 134 IP a season & a contract of $30MM per year, that averages out to $223,880 an IP.

    Over the same 7 years, Garrett Cole has averaged 218 IP per year. His contract is pays $36MM per, which translates to $165,137 an IP.

    So, Snell, who’s Vastly Inferior to Cole as a starter, would cost $58,743 MORE an IP, and he pitches a h*ll of a lot LESS innings than Cole.

    Now, if you add the 110% tax onto a Snell’s $30MM salary, Snell would cost $63MM in 2024, for an horrendously obscene average cost per inning of $470,149!

    Is there really anyone out there who’s insane enough to think Snell is worth almost a Half Million Dollars an Inning Pitched? If Judge & Soto are convinced that he’s worth that, then they can kick in half that total: I bet they wouldn’t think it was such a great idea then (and I’m a Huge Fan of both Judge & Soto).

    Clarke Schmidt has considerable ability & additional potential, and he could easily end up being the best 5th starter in baseball.

    For the nay sayers, in his first taste of MLB hitters in 1988, HOF pitcher John Smoltz had a 5.48 ERA in 64 IP, for an ERA+ of 67, with a less-than-impressive 37 Ks & 33 BB.

    In a similar number of IP in Schmidt’s first real taste of MLB hitters in 2022, he had a 3.12 ERA in 57.2 IP, for an ERA+ of 127, with 56 Ks & 23 BB.

    Now, I don’t expect Schmidt to come close to Smoltz’s fabulous career, and Smoltz was much younger (21 vs. 26) in those first-taste seasons, but the above shows the danger of jumping to rash conclusions about a pitcher’s potential.

    Moreover, SMOLTZ HAD ONE HUGE ADVANTAGE ON SCHMIDT: The 1988 Braves finished last with a Losing record of 54-106, so there was ZERO additional pressure on Smoltz to perform, whereas there’s Always Tremendous Pressure playing in NYC. H*ll, Yankee fans, including myself, took a Fit over the Yankees finishing with a Winning record of 82-80. That’s the difference in the pressure of playing in NYC vs Atlanta.

    So, lay off Schmidt & let’s see what he can do after an up & down first full season as a starter.

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