The New York Yankees have a need for pitching.
That may not necessarily be a bad thing, though, especially if Schmidt is the one who wins the fifth starter job.
German is more proven and might have a higher floor.
However, Schmidt might be the better pitcher, and has a new weapon to help him navigate through opposing lineups.
“Clarke Schmidt believes his new cutter is a difference-maker – tough on lefties & effective on righties too,” Yankees insider Bryan Hoch tweeted.
Clarke Schmidt believes his new cutter is a difference-maker – tough on lefties & effective on righties too. pic.twitter.com/GcikQ5tuVJ
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) February 26, 2023
Schmidt had a 3.12 ERA in 57.2 innings last season.
He had sort of a hybrid role: he started three games and entered from the bullpen in 26.
This time, he might be required in the rotation given the injury landscape on the Yankees.
As a result, he worked in the offseason to give himself an important pitch.
His breaking pitches are excellent, but his fastball is mediocre at best.
That’s why the addition of the cutter was a much-needed one: it gives him a quality fast pitch to complement his excellent slider and curveball.
Breaking balls have taken a huge role in baseball in recent seasons, but the fastball remains the most important pitch in the repertoire.
Those who don’t have a good heater often struggle with consistency.
If Schmidt can prove the cutter is a legit MLB-caliber pitch, it might be the missing ingredient for a breakout in 2023.NEXT: The Yankees Are Giving A Top Prospect Some Early Chances