The good news was that Clarke Schmidt was back in the Bronx and had a locker again at Yankee Stadium. The right-hander has pitched well during limited action this year in the majors with a 2.40 ERA, 3.66 FIP, and 1.167 WHIP in 30 innings across 16 outings, all but one out of the bullpen. The only problem was that he was a starting pitching prospect for a reason, and the Yankees didn’t want their 2017 first-round pick to fully lose a year of development. So Schmidt has spent the better part of the past couple months stretching out and starting games in Triple-A Scranton.
Now, however, the Yankees’ MLB needs exceed their development priorities. The team already had to activate 31-year-old journeyman Luke Bard yesterday to join the ‘pen in place of the injured Albert Abreu, and now, they’re bringing Schmidt back up too since Scott Effross is hurt. (They waited an extra day on Schmidt so that he could be fully rested from his previous start.)
The sidearming Effross has pitched well since coming over from the Cubs at the deadline, but shoulder stiffness kept him from closing the finally-victorious series finale yesterday against the Blue Jays. There was some talk after the game that Schmidt could be recalled if Effross needed an IL stint, and that is indeed what has come to pass.
Effross to the IL, per Boone, with a minor shoulder strain. No throw for 7-10 days. The hope is he’ll return in a few weeks.— Justin Shackil (@JustinShackil) August 22, 2022
The lone solace is that, as the tweet above indicates, manager Aaron Boone said that it’s a minor strain and that Effross should return for the stretch run in September.
It obviously sucks to lose Effross right now with the bullpen in such a state of uncertainty. He seemed to be one of the few relievers who Boone could truly count with Jonathan Loáisiga a wild card, Aroldis Chapman a mess, and Clay Holmes on the IL. Expect Wandy Peralta and Ron Marinaccio to help pick up the slack in key moments since they’ve been solid all year long, and though Lou Trivino will be off tonight after throwing 2.1 innings yesterday, he should be good to help out on Tuesday onward as well.
Schmidt can help in short relief as well, but since he’s also stretched out, one possibility that the Yankees could pursue is piggybacking him with one of their struggling starters. Hell, I don’t know if I’d truly call Domingo Germán “struggling” right now (this is more just his middling-at-best status quo), but he’s not someone who provides length, and Schmidt could certainly tag-team with him tonight against the Mets.