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New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Clarke Schmidt vs. Jalen Beeks

Schmidt is subbing for an ill Luis Severino, helping the Yankees aim for a sweep.

Los Angeles Angels v. New York Yankees Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Yankees thought that they would get to throw the capable Luis Severino out on the mound to go for the sweep of the division rival Rays tonight, but unfortunately, Sevy’s sick. He was placed on the COVID-IL this afternoon after experiencing symptoms yesterday, so instead, the Yankees will ask Clarke Schmidt to fill in.

Schmidt is probably the go-to long reliever in the Yankees’ bullpen, but the starting pitching has been so excellent in 2022 that the majority of his work has come in one-to-two-inning spurts. He hasn’t thrown over 35 pitches in an outing since April 19th, so per Aaron Boone, the furthest he’ll go today is around 45-50 pitches.

Aside from a hiccup in Minnesota during that one weird game in June when nothing went right (not even Nestor Cortes), Schmidt has been a fairly reliable contributor, which is no easy feat in sporadic work. He has a 3.26 ERA, 3.97 FIP, and 0.5 HR/9 in 19.1 innings in 2022, with xERA, xwOBA, xBA, and xSLG marks that all rank among the top third of qualified MLB pitchers per Baseball Savant. Schmidt’s walk rate is a little high at 12.8 percent, so the Rays will be hoping that he’s jittery for his first start of the season.

Jalen Beeks gets the nod for the Rays, and at the start of this series, manager Kevin Cash expected to go with a different starter as well. Drew Rasmussen hit the injured list with a hamstring strain, so Beeks will fill in as an opener. Since he hasn’t exceeded two innings in an outing all year long, don’t expect to see him past the second. The Yankees may end up needing to score on the Tampa bullpen because Beeks has a solid 1.38 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 55-percent groundball rate, and 32-percent strikeout rate across 26 frames.

Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta are almost certainly unavailable after working each of the first two games of this series, so Boone will need some help from other members of the bullpen in relief of Schmidt. Michael King was off yesterday after 24 pitches on Tuesday, so it seems like he could probably fill in for a couple innings in the right situation, possibly even to close out a win. Ryan Weber is up from Triple-A, and you can probably surmise who else might be available from the excellent tracking of YES Network’s James Smyth:

Go Yankees go, get that sweep.

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY

First pitch: 7:05 pm ET

TV broadcast: YES, Bally Sports Sun, MLB Network (out-of-market)

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380

Online stream: MLB.tv

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