Clarke Schmidt's journey back from a strain in his common extensor tendon is only just beginning. The early returns of how the right-hander looks in his rehab since resuming his throwing program, however, are about as good as they can be.
"He looks fantastic," Yankees senior director of player development Kevin Reese said on Monday afternoon.
Reese added that he's been keeping a close eye on Schmidt's work on and off the field in his rehabilitation process.
"I do believe he will be able to help us at some point this year in the big leagues," Reese added.
Last month, manager Aaron Boone revealed that the right-hander received a cortisone shot—following a second opinion on his elbow strain—which allowed him to start throwing again.
It had been several months since Schmidt was first shut down with the uncommon injury in late-February, a strain akin to tennis elbow on the anterior side of his elbow. The top pitching prospect's ligament is intact, though, so there are no concerns about the possibility of Schmidt needing Tommy John surgery.
Schmidt made his big-league debut a year ago, making three appearances toward the end of the coronavirus-shortened campaign. Had the strain in his elbow never occurred this spring, Schmidt would've had a shot to compete for a spot on the Opening Day roster.
Schmidt isn't letting this injury come in the way of achieving his goals this season. Reese's update on Monday is another encouraging step in that direction.
"My goal hasn't changed at all," Schmidt said back in March. "I know that I can log a significant amount of innings up there with the club, and I can really contribute to this team. And I will do that."
- Yankees Explain Why Jasson Dominguez Will Start MiLB Season at Extended Spring Training
- Kluber Spins Gem, Striking Out 10 in 100th Career Win
- Yankees' Judge Playing 'Long Game' On and Off the Field