One of the best guys to chat with in the clubhouse for the past four seasons, the 29-year-old sidearming righty did just about everything he could statistically to reach the big leagues with the Yankees organization. He appeared in 280 games (125 of them in Trenton) and posted a 36-20 mark in 423 1/3 MiLB innings pitched and held opponents to a batting average under .200 in each of the past three seasons.
The popular Californian — he won the Thunder’s inaugural “Pitcher of the Year” award in 2010 — will hopefully get a better opportunity than the one got with New York. Despite stuff that those in the organization didn’t believe to be big league caliber, Schmidt has used his 88-90 MPH fastball and devastating curveball to carve quite a career for himself and would have earned an opportunity on many other teams given his numbers.
Instead, the two-time Eastern League All-Star saw just 21 games worth of time in Triple-A over the past two seasons, and served as a shuttle guy between levels this season. He’ll likely be given an opportunity to earn a spot on Miami’s Triple-A roster to start 2012.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com