Last week, I waited less than an inning into Jason Schmidt’s big comeback before declaring it a failure, causing some to call me out for impatience when he somehow held on for a win after I’d said:
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.
That he was able to turn it around somewhat after the first inning last week got him a second start today, and what do we get? A 3+ inning debacle. That’s now 8 innings in which he’s allowed 10 hits, 8 runs (7 earned), walked 4, and struck out just 3. Small sample size be damned; it’s beyond clear that he just doesn’t have it anymore.
This isn’t an Andruw Jones situation, because I do recognize that Schmidt has worked his ass off for two solid years to recover, and I respect the hard work he’s put in when he could have just as easily taken the money to sit on the couch, so this is nothing personal. It’s just the cold, hard, truth. He’s cooked, and you absolutely cannot torture the bullpen by letting him go out for another short start. I originally thought maybe it’d be worth a shot to put him into the bullpen to see if shorter stints would help the velocity come back, but I don’t even think it’s worth the trouble any more. He shouldn’t be taking up a roster spot when more talented players like Scott Elbert are still in the minors.
Cut him. DL him. It doesn’t matter. Appreciate the effort Jason, but it’s time to hang ‘em up.