"It's definitely devastating" - Clarke Schmidt gets candid on latest setback, surprised by extent of injury

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
Clarke Schmidt gets candid on latest setback, surprised by extent of injury

The New York Yankees were hit by their first in-season injury concern to a pitcher after in-form starter Clarke Schmidt sustained a right lat strain. The Yankees starter was placed on the 15-day injured list before the game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.

The Yankees' rotation has been on a historic run this season after their starters combined for 16 consecutive starts of more than five innings while conceding less than two runs in each start. All that in the absence of reigning Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole.

Clarke Schmidt played his role in the record-breaking run as he has a 5-3 record in 11 starts this season with a 2.52 ERA. The right-handed pitcher underwent an MRI on Wednesday and consulted with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in LA.

Schmidt discussed the outcome of the MRI that showed a right lat strain, forcing him out of action.

"It's definitely devastating," Schmidt said. "I'm probably having the most fun I've ever had playing this game in my career. Not only having success, but the team's winning and the pitching staff has done really well."

The Yankees pitcher is surprised by the seriousness of his injury, as he believed it to be a minor issue after his last game against the San Diego Padres on Sunday. Schmidt admitted feeling uncomfortable during the game but did not think much of it, assuming it would take care of itself as the game progressed.

"It definitely came out of nowhere. My body's been feeling amazing so far this year," Schmidt said (via MLB.com). "Throughout the game, it was definitely there. But for me, it was one of those things where I felt like it was probably going to work itself out."

Aaron Boone hopes for Clarke Schmidt's swift recovery

According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, Clarke Schmidt is not expected to pitch for 4-6 weeks and will need another 4-6 weeks to build stamina before his return to the mound.

“Obviously, Clarke has been one of the guys that has been pitching so well,” Aaron Boone said on Thursday (via MLB.com). “It stinks for him, but hopefully we’ll have him down and get him on the mend, and hopefully get him back at some point.”

The Bronx Bombers have recalled Cody Morris from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to address Schmidt's absence. Morris was acquired by the Yankees in December in a trade by the Cleveland Guardians involving outfielder Estevan Florial.

While Clarke Schmidt's injury is a cause of concern for Boone, the team is soon to welcome back ace Gerrit Cole, who threw 43 pitches in live batting practice on Thursday and is scheduled to pitch in a rehab game next.

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