Clarke Schmidt throws five perfect innings, Jasson Dominguez sent down to minors
Clarke Schmidt bounced back from two rough Grapefruit League appearances by throwing five perfect innings in Thursday’s start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. His outing was wasted as the Yankees lost the matchup, 9-6, but Schmidt cruised through his third start of the spring.
The right-hander pounded the strike zone, getting 36 strikes out of 50 total pitches thrown. He struck out seven and recorded seven groundball outs.
Schmidt entered camp competing with right-hander Domingo German for a rotation spot. German may have been viewed as the frontrunner for the Yankees’ fifth and final rotation spot due to him having more experience and a better start in his 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 may both start the season in the rotation due to their teammates dealing with injuries.
Frankie Montas and Carlos Rodon will both start the regular season on the injured list. Montas underwent shoulder surgery in February and recently admitted he wasn’t fully healthy when the Bombers acquired him from Oakland last season. Rodon may return in April as he’s currently shut down due to a mild left forearm strain, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters on Thursday at the Yankees spring complex in Tampa.
“In a perfect world [Rodon returns] sometime in April,” Cashman said. “I’m glad our trainers jumped on it, I’m glad our trainers said something. The finding was something but not significant or serious …
“If this was in-season, pennant race, late in the game he’d probably still be up and running. He had this last May with the Giants and he didn’t miss any time with it.”
THE MARTIAN SENT DOWN
Outfield prospect Jasson Dominguez was re-assigned to minor league camp following 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 homers and nine RBI. The 20-year-old is the No. 2 ranked prospect in the Yankees organization, behind Anthony Volpe.
“Jasson’s had a great spring,” manager Aaron Boone said during last Saturday’s game on the YES Network. “It’s our first time getting to be around him for a little bit of an extended period. I think it’s been great for him being around our core guys and guys like Aaron Judge and [Giancarlo] Stanton. To be around them on a daily basis has been, I think, a really valuable tool.
“We love where he’s at. Is he in that mix early on? That would be tough. But, you never know what could happen over the next few weeks.”