Clarke Schmidt

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Clarke Douglas Schmidt

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Clarke Schmidt was the first-round selection of the New York Yankees in the 2017 amateur draft, with the 16th overall pick. He had pitched three seasons at the University of South Carolina, but his junior season in 2017 had been interrupted after 9 starts as he had to undergo Tommy John surgery, which made his selection by the Yankees a bit of a surprise.

He began his professional career in 2018, but was limited to 8 appearances and 23 1/3 innings as he was completing his recovery from the surgery. He pitched for three different teams, including both of the Yankees' affiliates in the Gulf Coast League. His real first taste of competition came in 2019, when he went a combined 6-5, 3.47 in 19 games, logging 90 2/3 innings. Once again, he did not pitch a full season, as he missed some time early in the year, and then made 3 starts for the GCL Yankees East in late June and early July before returning to the Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League. In mid-August, he received a promotion to the AA Trenton Thunder after having gone 4-5, 3.84 for Tampa. He pitched his best ball for Trenton, going 2-0, 2.37 in his 3 starts in the Eastern League.

In 2020, he was not able to pitch in the minors, as they were shut down by the coronavirus pandemic, but his name was part of the Yankees' 60-player pool and he started the year at their alternate training site. He was called up to make his major league debut on September 4th, pitching in relief against the Baltimore Orioles. He pitched 3 games, going 0-1, 7.11. He then returned in the minors in 2021, as health issues prevented him from starting the year with the Yankees. He ended up playing at four different minor league levels, for a total of 10 games and 38 innings, before returning to the Bronx for a second cup of coffee in September. This time, he went 0-0, 5.68 in 2 games. In 2022, he made the team out of spring training as a long reliever. He had a very good season, going 5-5, 3.12, with 2 saves in 29 games, including 3 starts. He pitched 57 2/3 innings and struck out56 opponents. He also pitched 3 times in the postseason, going 0-2, 11.57, being charged with a 6-5 loss in Game 3 of the Division Series against the Cleveland Guardians on October 15th, and a 4-2 loss to the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the ALCS on October 19th.

In 2023, although this was not the original plan, he opened the season in the Yankees' starting rotation due to injuries to a number of presumptive starting pitchers, notably Carlos Rodón, Frankie Montas and Luis Severino. He got off to a rough first month, going 0-3, 6.84 in 6 April starts, but settled down after that and was the team's most reliable starter alongside ace Gerrit Cole after that, in what turned out to be a very difficult season for the Bronx Bombers. On August 25th, breaking from a string of depressing news stories about the team, he was featured in a positive way when his father, Dwight Schmidt, a veteran of more than twenty years as an airplane pilot for Delta Air Lines, was behind the controls for the team's chartered flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Tampa International Airport. Clarke's teammate, all knowledgeable frequent flyers due to their line of work, took advantage of the occasion to chat with his dad about things like flight paths and air turbulence.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bryan Hoch: "It's smooth sailing as Schmidt's dad flies Yankees to Tampa",, August 25, 2023. [1]

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