Yankees bullish on homegrown Clarke Schmidt paying dividends in 2024

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Latest Yankees arm Marcus Stroman doesn’t hold back in expressing admiration for his new teammates. While acknowledging the exceptional skills of Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, and Nestor Cortes, the right-hander specifically highlighted Clarke Schmidt, the youngest member of the Yankees’ starting rotation, with high praise.

In his introductory press conference, Stroman openly lauded Clarke Schmidt, emphasizing the young pitcher’s remarkable potential. He went beyond mere compliments, asserting his belief that the pitcher has the capacity to become a long-term “fixture” in the rotation.

Can Clarke Schmidt make the Yankees ascend?

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This isn’t mere optimism; Clarke Schmidt’s performance in the 2023 season provides a glimpse of his capabilities. Despite a 4.64 ERA, he pitched a career-high 159 innings, consistently giving the Yankees competitive opportunities to win. The pitcher exhibited control in the strike zone, reduced his walk rate, and heavily relied on an effective curveball, showcasing the qualities that garnered such acclaim.

Brian Cashman, the Yankees‘ GM, echoes Stroman’s confidence in Clarke Schmidt. According to Cashman, his performance in the previous season marked a significant breakthrough, keeping the team competitive even during low-scoring games. The resounding message is clear: Schmidt has earned his place in the rotation.

However, uncertainties linger. Can Clarke Schmidt sustain a full-season workload following a substantial increase in innings? Will he address his challenges against left-handed hitters? Can he adapt as opposing hitters become more familiar with his pitching repertoire?

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

Cashman dismisses these concerns, expressing unwavering faith in Clarke Schmidt. “We’re relying on him,” asserts Cashman. “He’s a crucial part of our plans.”

The upcoming season serves as Clarke Schmidt’s proving ground. With Stroman and the team endorsing his abilities, the pressure is on for him to deliver. Yet, armed with talent and a prime opportunity, he has the potential to dispel any doubts and emerge as a pivotal asset in the Yankees’ pursuit of a championship.

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