According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, Schmidt "could certainly factor in" to the Yankees' plans at some point this season, but he won't pitch this weekend, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports. Yankees starters not named Gerrit Cole have been mostly unimpressive this season, but the organization has thus far resisted the temptation to promote its top pitching prospect. Schmidt impressed in spring training and summer camp, so service-time considerations could be a factor in the team's decision to keep him off the active roster. Still, the right-hander could certainly make his major-league debut at some point during the campaign, especially if starters Jordan Montgomery, James Paxton and J.A. Happ continue to struggle.
Schmidt was sent to the Yankees' alternate training site Tuesday, Randy Miller of The Newark Star-Ledger reports. Schmidt received glowing reviews from the pitching staff during his camp, but he won't begin the season on the major-league roster. Manager Aaron Boone said, "He has delivered in every way," when describing Schmidt's performance during camp. Given the team's belief in his potential, the 24-year-old could make his major-league debut at some point during the abbreviated 2020 season.
Schmidt surrendered one hit and one walk while striking out three across two scoreless innings during the Yankees' intrasquad game Monday. Schmidt faced a stacked Yankees lineup during Monday's intrasquad game, striking out both Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela to conclude the first two innings. The 24-year-old looked sharp when spring training halted in March and continues to push for an opportunity to see MLB action early this season. Schmidt has been expressing his confidence off the field as well, saying "I think that I can produce at this level, I hold myself to a high regard, I always have", Erik Boland of Newsday reports.
Manager Aaron Boone was effusive in his praise for Schmidt on Monday, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports. "His pitch repertoire is excellent. His athleticism on the mound allows him to have a real clean delivery. There's an absolute presence to him, like he believes he belongs here," Boone said. It's not unusual for a manager to praise a top prospect, but it's nonetheless comforting to know that Boone is a big fan of Schmidt. Masahiro Tanaka (concussion) may miss the start of the season, so it's conceivable Schmidt could see MLB action early and often, although Jonathan Loaisiga seems like the leading candidate to fill the fifth starter's spot if Tanaka opens the year on the injured list. Schmidt has three plus pitches and is set to start Monday night's intrasquad game opposite J.A. Happ.
Schmidt will take part in the Yankees' summer camp as part of their 60-man player pool. The designation comes as no surprise given Schmidt's status as one of the organization's top prospects. The right-hander had yet to be optioned to the minors when spring training was suspended, due in part to a strong showing in Grapefruit League play. While he's unlikely to begin the 2020 campaign on the active big-league roster, it's feasible Schmidt could be called upon if a need for a starter arises. The possibility also exists that Schmidt could be given a chance to contribute as a reliever at some point during the campaign.
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