Yankees’ Clarke Schmidt ready to ‘carry the weight’ of Michael King’s absence
In the span of four appearances with the Yankees, Clarke Schmidt pitched three scoreless innings to start a game and then tossed three shutout frames to finish one.
The first outing came against the Rays in The Bronx, when the right-hander made a spot start. The last one was on Sunday in Baltimore, as Schmidt earned his first career save.
With Michael King out for the season — and perhaps next year, as well — after fracturing his elbow, Schmidt is among those who will be asked to contribute.
He’d been getting stretched out as a starter at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to provide some depth to the rotation, but King’s injury added a need to the bullpen, which is why the 26-year-old was summoned from the minors on Saturday.
“I think people have got to step up and carry the weight,’’ Schmidt said of King joining Chad Green [Tommy John surgery] on the IL for the rest of 2022. “I feel a little bit of that falls on my shoulders.”
Aaron Boone agreed.
“This is what Clarke is capable of,’’ Boone said Sunday. “When he’s attacking the strike zone, there are definitely gonna be opportunities.”
The 2017 first-round pick has battled injuries throughout his career, but said Sunday, “I feel better than I’ve ever felt, as far as health,” this season.
Since he was coming off of four straight starts with SWB, Schmidt’s arm was built up enough for him to throw 56 pitches on Sunday.
The Yankees may have other needs as they deal with the King injury, as well as the continued ineffectiveness of Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Loaisiga’s shaky showing this year.
And left-hander Wandy Peralta hasn’t pitched since July 15, as the reliever dealt with back discomfort, but Boone said he was available Sunday.
With the Aug. 2 trade deadline approaching, opposing teams have said the Yankees are more active in the hunt for a bullpen arm, although general manager Brian Cashman wouldn’t tip his hand on the potential search for a reliever — or anything else — when he spoke on Saturday in Baltimore.
Regardless of how it shakes out, Schmidt could be an important cog down the stretch.
“An opportunity like this, you can’t really let it slip out of your hands,’’ Schmidt said.
Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s win in Baltimore with left hamstring cramps and Giancarlo Stanton didn’t play with Boone saying Stanton was “beat up.” Both players expressed optimism they’d be able to be in the lineup Tuesday against the Mets at Citi Field.
The Yankees announced the signing of their first five picks from last week’s first-year player draft, including first-rounder Spencer Jones, the 6-foot-7 outfielder from Vanderbilt picked 25th overall. The other signed picks were right-handers Drew Thorpe and Trystan Vrieling, selected in the second and third round, respectively, outfielder Anthony Hall in the fourth round and fifth-rounder, right-hander Eric Reyzelman.
Suzyn Waldman is the latest Yankee Hall of Famer, elected to the Museum of Broadcast Communications Radio Hall of Fame, along with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo.
In a statement, the Yankees said they offered “their heartfelt congratulations to Suzyn Waldman on being elected to the Museum of Broadcast Communications Radio Hall of Fame. Both as a reporter covering the team and as a broadcaster in the booth, Suzyn has informed and entertained Yankees fans with precision and care for 36 years. This accomplishment is the deserved result of decades of hard work and dedication to her craft, and we would be remiss to not laud her professionalism and resolve while staring down countless obstacles as a pioneering woman in her field.’’