Clarke Schmidt rebounded from two tough Grapefruit League appearances by pitching five perfect innings in Thursday’s opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates. His outing was wasted as the Yankees lost the matchup, 9-6, but Schmidt made his third start of the spring.
The right-hander hit the strike zone, totaling 36 strikes out of 50 pitches thrown. He struck out seven and recorded seven groundouts.
Schmidt entered camp competing with right-hander Domingo Germán for a roster spot. Germán may have been seen as the favorite for the fifth and final spot in the Yankees’ rotation because he has more experience and a better start in the first two Grapefruit League appearances, allowing just one run in 5.1 innings. . Schmidt’s most recent outing was clearly better than German’s last start, allowing three hits and two earned runs in 2.1 innings, but the two can start the season in the rotation because their teammates are dealing with injuries.
( Yankees star Joe Pepitone dies at 82 )
Frankie Montas and Carlos Rodon will begin the regular season rehabbing injuries. Montas underwent shoulder surgery in February and recently admitted he wasn’t quite healthy after the Bombers acquired him from Oakland last season. Rodon will return in April as he is currently sidelined with a minor left forearm strain, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Thursday at the Yankees’ spring complex in Tampa.
“In a perfect world (Rodon returns) sometime in April,” Cashman said. “I’m glad our coaches noticed, I’m glad our coaches said something. The finding was something but not significant or serious…
“If this was in the season, the pennant race, at the end of the game, would probably still be going on. He had this last May with the Giants and he didn’t miss a moment.”
Outfield prospect Jasson Dominguez was reassigned to minor league camp after Thursday’s game. Dominguez impressed the organization this spring after arriving as a non-roster invitee.
The top prospect slashed .455/.520./.1.045 with four home runs and nine RBIs. The 20-year-old is the No. 2 ranked prospect in the Yankees organization, behind Anthony Volpe.
“Jasson has had a great spring,” manager Aaron Boone said during last Saturday’s game on the YES Network. “It’s the first time we’ve been around him for a long period of time. I think it’s been great for him to be around our core guys and guys like Aaron Judge and (Giancarlo) Stanton. Being around them on a daily basis has been, I think, a really valuable tool.
“We love where it is. Is he in that mix from the start? That would be difficult. But you never know what could happen in the next few weeks.”