As I write this, Jason Schmidt is self-destructing on the mound in the first inning. It’s pretty clear that he’s got nothing; his fastball is topping out in the mid-80s, the Reds aren’t fooled by any of it, and as Vin mentioned, we’re still waiting on our first swing-and-miss by a Cincinnati player. (To be completely fair, the defense isn’t helping; Manny got crocodile arms on a foul pop, Martin threw a ball into center field, and Kemp & Ethier just watched a ball fall between them – none of these things are good).
Schmidt just collected his first out – yes, I’m writing this stream-of-consciousness – but it wasn’t even thanks to him, as the out was made at second after the botched fly to right. With a fly out to center and a walk, Schmidt is now up to 33 pitches. I don’t know what his pitch limit is, but at this rate I’ll be shocked if he makes it through two innings.
The point is, it’s time to pull the plug on him, and I’m not talking about just this game. It’s 3-0 at the moment, and the Dodger offense is more than capable of overcoming that. We’ll see. It’s just that while I completely agreed with Jon @ DodgerThoughts that Schmidt deserved the start, he is showing absolutely nothing to justify that faith. I know, I know; first inning in two years. Got it. This isn’t rust. This is, I’m sorry to say, a man who has nothing left. Joe Torre already announced that Schmidt was going to get a second start, but I can’t see any way you can run him out again and ruin the bullpen even more (James McDonald is already warming up).
So what do you do with him? I don’t know. It almost seems pointless to send him back to the minors; perhaps you can stick him in the pen and see if the velocity comes back if he’s only asked to go 1-2 innings at time; but you can’t let him start any more.
Know this; any GM with available starting pitching is rushing to their phone right now.