HomeSportsYankees lose starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt due to lat injury

Yankees lose starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt due to lat injury

The New York Yankees starting rotation has the best ERA in the American League, but just suffered a setback that could impact the team well into the summer. Pitcher Clarke Schmidt was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Schmidt’s IL stint is retroactive to May 27, meaning the right-hander can return on June 11. That will depend on the severity of the injury. Lat strains can be relatively serious. As’s Randy Miller notes, Luis Severino was on the IL for two months with a similar injury in 2022.

In 11 starts this season, Schmidt compiled a 2.52 ERA with 67 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings and a 5-3 record. He last pitched on Sunday, allowing one earned run and three hits in five innings against the San Diego Padres. It was his fourth consecutive start in which he allowed two earned runs or fewer, a stretch in which he allowed three earned runs in 24 2/3 innings.

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Schmidt’s success is part of an MLB-record streak of Yankees starters who have thrown 16 consecutive starts of at least five innings while allowing two runs or fewer in Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Entering Thursday’s game, the Yankees starters had an ERA of 2.69, just behind the Philadelphia Phillies’ ERA of 2.68.

The Yankees’ rotation was short-handed entering the 2024 season with Gerrit Cole shut down during spring training due to right elbow inflammation. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner hopes to rejoin the roster in June after three recent throwing sessions. If Cole doesn’t suffer any setbacks, he could begin a minor league rehab assignment next week.

If Cole can return within the next few weeks, Schmidt’s injury likely prevents the Yankees from having to make a decision on who can be removed from the rotation. That is, unless manager Aaron Boone decides to go for a six-man staff in the short term.

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Reliever Cody Morris was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Schmidt’s spot on the Yankees’ 26-man roster. The right-hander joined the Yankees this season after six years in the Cleveland Guardians organization. In 13 appearances, Morris has a 2.82 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 14 walks in 22 1/3 innings.

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