Yankees giving Clarke Schmidt audition for MLB playoffs start

Clarke Schmidt is being lined up to start the Yankees’ season finale and that could be an audition for him being part of the postseason roster if the Yanks advance beyond the first round.

Schmidt would start Sunday against the Marlins. If that goes well, the Yankees would think about adding him to the roster for the Division Series if they are able to win the best-of-three wild-card round.

The best-of-five Division Series and the best-of-seven League Championship Series are both scheduled to have no off days. So there might be a need to use not only five starters, but also more than just the best two or three relievers. Depth and pitchers who could pitch multiple innings will be necessary. The Yanks have Luis Cessa and Jonathan Loaisiga right now for bulk relief innings, but Schmidt could provide another option.

Schmidt has appeared in just two games this year, both in relief, and had a 7.71 ERA. But relief is foreign to him, and the 24-year-old righty now will receive an opportunity to start a game. Schmidt, the 16th overall pick in 2017, had just three starts above Single-A heading into this season. In a standard year, the hope was to get him perhaps a half a season of starts and then see if he was ready to jump to the majors.

Instead, COVID-19 scuttled such plans. Still, there remains a chance for Schmidt to get his first major league start — and perhaps earn more for October.

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