CHICAGO – Clarke Schmidt’s stay in the minors didn’t last long.
The right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre prior to the Yankees’ game Friday night against the White Sox.
Schmidt was optioned to Triple-A following another solid outing in Kansas City on May 1, and he has only allowed one earned run in 8 ¹ / ₃ innings over four appearances.
“It’s good to be back here,” Schmidt said. “Opportunities like this I don’t take for granted.”
The Yankees sent Luis Gil to Triple-A after his spot start in their win Thursday over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Gil allowed four runs in four innings in his first start for the Yankees this season.
Manager Aaron Boone said they went with Gil instead of Schmidt to start Thursday because Gil was built up and could throw more pitches. That’s crucial because the Yankees are in the midst of a 23 game in 22 days stretch.
And they also consider Schmidt more valuable in relief. He’ll go back to his role in the Yankees’ bullpen rather than being burned in a one-start situation, since they are not expected to need another sixth starter for the foreseeable future.
After Isiah Kiner-Falefa made two errors on Wednesday in The Bronx, he had two tough plays Friday in the Yankees ’10-4 win over the White Sox – both with Luis Robert at the plate. He rushed and couldn’t handle Robert’s first-inning grounder, then took too long on another in the sixth – although only the first was ruled an error.
Boone said the miscues were partially due to what he called a “soft field.”
“You could see the hops he was getting, but you’ve got to create that with your feet,” Boone said. “He’s got to be aggressive and make sure he takes that chance away.”
The Yankees won’t be facing Lucas Giolito in their final series against the White Sox on Sunday. The Chicago right-hander was placed on COVID-19 related injured list, the White Sox announced Friday.
The White Sox had a game postponed against the Guardians in Chicago on Wednesday due to a COVID outbreak among Cleveland’s coaching staff – including manager Terry Francona.
With the Yankees in the same visiting clubhouse this series as the Guardians used, a company was brought in to give the clubhouse a deep cleaning. The Yankees also brought some of their own clubhouse staff instead of using the White Sox staff.
There is no indication the remainder of the Yankees’ series at Guaranteed Rate Field will be impacted.
The postponement Wednesday was the first COVID-related one of the season.
The Yankees are confident the struggling Jonathan Loaisiga is healthy and not far from the form that made him among the top relievers in the game a year ago – despite the rocky start to his season.
Pitching coach Matt Blake said the young right-hander has to adjust to opposing hitters getting more accustomed to his arsenal, while Boone noted that the command issues that have plagued Loaisiga at times this year are uncharacteristic and unlikely to remain.
“He’s gonna be fine,” the manager said. “His stuff is there and he’s gonna settle in and be one of the best relievers in the game. We’ve just got to get him there. ”
Coming off his first full season in the majors, Boone was asked if Loaisiga might be experiencing a dead arm and Boone said that wasn’t a concern.
“We have a ton of confidence in him and we trust him,” Boone said. “He has to fight through it and he will.”
Jose Trevino caught Gerrit Cole again Friday night, but Boone said he has no plans to pair any of his starting pitchers permanently with either Trevino or Kyle Higashioka.
“We’re confident in our catchers and whoever we pair them with is gonna be a strength,” Boone said. Trevino was 1-for-5 with a run scored on Friday.
Ben Rortvedt, acquired from Minnesota in the deal that sent Gary Sanchez to the Twins, is now dealing with a knee injury after coming back from a rib cage injury that sidelined him for the early part of the season. Boone said Rortvedt felt the knee problem while catching several days ago and would undergo tests.
“We’re in pretty good shape right now with our catching situation, but we’re still excited about him,” Boone said. “We’ll get him right and feel at some point he’ll [be] a factor for us. ”
Aaron Hicks, stuck in a 0-for-19 rut, was bumped to ninth in the batting order on Friday, behind the struggling Kiner-Falefa and Trevino.
Boone said the move wasn’t made to take pressure off Hicks.
“It’s more like it’s lined up today and one thing Aaron is doing well right now is getting on base,” Boone said. “To have that on-base presence in the nine-hole is something I value… while he’s finding his way. His ability to get on [base] has been there all season. ”