Clarke Schmidt Devastated by Surprising Injury Setback

Yankees face pitching challenge with Schmidt's unexpected injury.

by Abdullah Magsi
Clarke Schmidt Devastated by Surprising Injury Setback
© Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images

The New York Yankees appear to be in line for their first serious pitching setback of the season after starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt was diagnosed with a correct lat strain. The in-form rookie was put on the 15-day injured listing just before the Yankees' game with the Los Angeles Angels was due to start on Thursday.

The Yankees' rotation has been historically good in this department all season long. Starters have gone 16 straight times throwing over five frames, allowing just a pair of runs or less during that span—all this with reigning Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole on the IL.

The righty, 25-year-old Schmidt, had been part of this overall solid season by going 5-3 with a 2.52 ERA in 11 starts. He underwent an MRI on Wednesday, which revealed a correct lat strain, and the hurler was getting consultations from Dr.

Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Schmidt Devastated, Surprised

Schmidt expressed his disappointment and surprise at the extent of his injury. "It's definitely devastating," he admitted. "I'm probably having the most fun I've ever had playing this game in my career.

Not only having success, but the team's winning, and the pitching staff has done really well." The pitcher initially believed the discomfort he felt during his last game against the San Diego Padres on Sunday was minor. He thought it would resolve itself as the game progressed.

"It definitely came out of nowhere. My body's been feeling amazing so far this year," Schmidt said. "Throughout the game, it was definitely there. But for me, it was one of those things where I felt like it was probably going to work itself out."Yankees manager Aaron Boone said it isn't expected that Schmidt would be back on the mound for four to six weeks before he'd need another four to six weeks to get back up to speed.

"Clarke has been one of the guys that has been pitching so well," Boone said. "It stinks for him, but hopefully we'll have him down and get him on the mend, and hopefully get him back at some point." It will finally be Schmidt; then the Yankees apply for Cody Morris off of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre list for Triple-A.

Morris, who the Yankees acquired last month in a deal with Cleveland for outfielder Estevan Florial, is the long-term solution with Schmidt gone. More importantly, the Yankees return at home to their staff ace, Gerrit Cole.

Cole threw 43 pitches in live batting practice on Thursday. It shouldn't be long before he's throwing in a rehab game—adding a consistent and solid presence back into the rotation.