Yankees righty Clarke Schmidt was “a little shocked” by the news that he would be demoted to the minor leagues.
The team sent Schmidt and Miguel Andújar to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders as MLB rosters were cut from 28 to 26, marking a “tough pill to swallow” for Schmidt, who has played relatively well in the little chances he’s gotten this season.
“It’s a real tough pill to swallow. It’s tough. There’s no easy way to say it. I’ve been throwing well, I’ve been feeling well,” Schmidt told reporters after the team’s May 1 victory over the Kansas City Royals. “I guess it’s just part of the game. It’s a business as well, but hopefully they get me back up here soon.”
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Schmidt threw one scoreless inning on Monday, after entering the game in the 6th inning. Prior to that performance, he had appeared in just three contests this year, and threw 7.1 innings. He boasts a 1.08 ERA on the year.
“I was a little shocked. When [manager Aaron Boone] told me, I didn’t really know what to say,” Schmidt said. “It’s just tough news. You can’t really do anything about it — it’s just how the game works sometimes.”
One major reason for demoting Schmidt and Andújar was the fact that both men have minor league options remaining, while other possible candidates do not — allowing the team to potentially recall them without a waiting period.
Still, that did not make Schmidt’s demotion any easier, he said.
“I get the semantics of it, and all the details, but nothing makes it easier,” he said. “However you can take it, whatever helps you sleep at night is how you’ve got to take it.”
The Yankees made clear to Schmidt that they are happy with his progress on the mound, as he’s improved from his 5.68 ERA last season, and his 7.11 ERA the year before that.
For his part, Schmidt spoke confidently about his abilities, and his comfort level on the field this year.
“I just feel like I’m a different player from last year, and other previous years. I’m so much more comfortable out there,” he added. “I don’t feel like the moment is too big for me at all. I just feel in complete control when I’m out there.”
Andújar, meanwhile, has seen just 5 at-bats this season, and recorded 2 hits. Stuck behind a number of other players in the depth chart, Andújar has failed to break through — and the MLB’s roster crunch didn’t allow him to keep his not-often-used spot in the dugout.
Meanwhile, across town, the Mets dealt with the shrinking roster by designating veteran second baseman Robinson Cano for assignment, along with reliever Yoan Lopez.