Monday, March 9, 2020

Don't be deceived by Clarke Schmidt's dismal line score yesterday; I was there, and the box score numbers lie

Obviously, being a big-time blogger means getting
close-up access to the players. Here's Clarke Schmidt.
Yesterday's box score on the somewhat-ballyhooed Yank starter, Clarke Schmidt, won't champion his cause for a rotation spot: He pitched two innings, surrendered four hits and three runs. Had I not been there, I'd today be listing prospective apartments in muddy Moosic. In fact, Schmidt was undercut by a sluggish defense that, without improvements, could be a bigger problem than a weak No. 5.

Let's redo the first inning, bit by bit, because - frankly - Schmidt deserved better.

The first Oriole batter, Austin Hays, fans on three pitches - bing-bing-bing - but catcher Kyle Higashioka muffs strike three (in the dirt), the ball rolls to the backstop, and Higgy looks constipated, trying to chase it. Hays easily beats the throw. So, from the git-go, Schmidt is in a hole.

On the next pitch, Hays charges for second. Higgy's throw sails over everybody's head, so far that Tommy Milone - our CF - snags it on a bounce and holds the runner at second. Put a star next to Milone's name. But WTF, Higgy? He's supposed to be our defensive catcher.  

Next man - somebody named Anthony Santander - grounds out to Luke Voit at first. If not for the stolen base, this might have been a DP, erasing the first mistake. (By the way, Luke seems to have slimmed down; he's avoiding carbs.)

Next, Chris Davis - yes, he's still around - whacks a hard single to center, scoring the run. This was Schmidt's screw-up, surrendering a single to a guy who hasn't hit his weight since Trump took office. (This is not hyperbole, either. He literally hasn't hit more than .221.)

Next batter hits a slow roller to SS. Gleyber Torres charges, but the runner beats the throw. Not an E-6, but it goes down as a "Didi-woulda-got'm." Bad sign. Two men on, one run in, only one out. 

Next man, who cares what his name is?, hits a lazy pop fly to right. LeMahieu chases. Luke chases. The RF, Trey Amburgey chases. It lands just inside the foul line. Another run scores, and aside from Davis, nobody has even hit the ball hard.

That changes when a kid named Pedro Severino lashes a ball to deep right-center. Milone chases it down, a one-handed snag, but the runner on third scores. 

The final batter grounds out to LeMahieu at 2B.

Three runs in. None should have happened.

In the second, Schmidt rips through Baltimore on five pitches. A fly out, a three-pitch K, and a ground out. 

In the third, he walks the lead-off batter, Davis, and is pulled.

Frankly, I dunno what to make of Schmidt's outing. He had chances to pitch out of a jam, and he failed. But defense let him down, and the O's didn't touch him. 

Other quick observations:

Milone not only looked Paul Blair-like in CF, but he belted a low rocket that left the park before the RF could turn around, and before wind could blow it back. He went 3-for-3. I wonder if the Yankees will keep a defensive SS (Kyle Holder?) or CF (Milone or Zack Granite?) If the latter, Milone sure helped his chances yesterday.

Chris Gittens, the DH/1B who homered in an early exhibition games, looked over-matched. He went 0-3, with a K, and his small sample average fell below .200. He needs the apartment listings for Moosic.

Finally, Albert Abreu looked solid in relief of Schmidt. He got a DP grounder and a strikeout, then tore through the O's in the next inning, (though they got a single.) Abreu's time in the prospect spotlight came two years ago, when he was everybody's favorite fire-baller. He's been a disappointment ever since. Who knows, this might be his year?


HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks for filling us in, Duque. And hey, glad to hear that Schmidt looked all right.

But why the hell are we even playing a split squad with so little talent or potential?

Sure, with all the injuries it's good to search under rocks for the likes of Milone and, who knows, maybe Trey Amburgey, he of the great name, will prove to be more than he's supposed to be.

But what happened to the waves of talent that were sweeping over the Bronx just a few years ago? Why aren't there at least good prospects down the line?

Speaking of which, I noticed that Estevan Florial is hitting .176 on the spring. That ceiling keeps getting higher and higher...

Dandy Prof said...

Milone and Granite are non roster invitees and have no chance of making this team out of spring training, barring significantly more injuries. We would have to lose one of those flamethrowers lower in the minor leagues (or someone like Florial) from the 40 man. Not happening.

HoraceClarke66 said...

No, I understand that, Dandy Prof. I just mean, how come our minor league cupboard is so bare?

I mean, shouldn't a first-rate system have at least one serious outfield, infield, catching, starting pitching, and relief pitching prospect in it at all times?

We have more starters, I guess, but everything else seems delinquent.

celerino sanchez said...

Does it matter, he'll be hurt in 4- 6 weeks and no one will know why or what the problem is till 2021.

ranger_lp said...

Abreu and Florial have been optioned out to minors...

Dandy Prof said...

I agree on the pitching-heavy nature of our system. I think the Yanks believe Frazier *is* that OF depth? Barring injuries, of course. Which we already have, in spades!

Dandy Prof said...

And that rabbit hole led me to this handy estimation of chances some of these guys break camp with the big league club:

Not bad guesses, all around!

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