TAMPA — Jordan Montgomery is the prohibitive favorite to cop the fourth spot in a Yankees’ rotation that will be without James Paxton at the start of the season and not have Luis Severino for the entirety of it.
After the left-handed Montgomery, right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga appears to have the edge for the No. 5 spot, and he strengthened that with a dazzling two innings to close out a 9-1 Yankees win over the Red Sox on Tuesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
“Open or not, I just want ‘Lo’ to be in a good place with his delivery. He is coming in on the attack right now and seems to have a feel for his pitches,’’ Aaron Boone said of Loaisiga, who worked two scoreless innings, struck out four — including the first three he faced — and faced six batters. “You see that dynamic stuff so we will continue to stretch him out. What role it ends up being, and it could be multiples, it is good to see him throwing the ball well.’’
Clarke Schmidt likely needs more work in the minor leagues because he has pitched in 27 games (25 starts) since being selected in the first round of the 2017 draft out of the University of South Carolina after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The right-hander impressed Boone by bouncing back after giving up a leadoff homer to Rafael Devers on his first pitch in the fourth inning.
“Unfazed, he attacks the strike zone with a really good curveball, a special curveball,’’ Boone said of the 24-year-old Schmidt’s most impressive pitch. “I thought he had a really good changeup and finished his outing with a really good changeup to strike out [Andrew] Benintendi.’’
In two innings Schmidt gave up two hits, issued a walk and fanned three.
Source: Read Full Article