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Yankees starter Schmidt placed on IL due to right lat strain

Clarke Schmidt New York Yankees Clarke Schmidt - The Canadian Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — New York Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt will be sidelined indefinitely due to a right lat strain.

The right-hander was placed on the 15-day injured list before Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Angels. The move is retroactive to Monday.

Manager Aaron Boone said that Schmidt will not throw for four-to-six weeks and it might take another four-to-six weeks after that to build himself up before returning to the rotation.

Schmidt had an MRI on Wednesday and had an appointment with Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Schmidt said after the Yankees' 8-3 win the injury came out of nowhere, but he first felt it while warming up in the bullpen before Sunday's game at San Diego.

“I thought it was going to work itself and it continued," he said. “I knew it was more than typical soreness. I tried to get it to 100% and couldn't get it there.”

The right-hander is 5-3 and ninth in the AL with a 2.52 ERA. He has been part of the starting staff’s MLB-record run to 16 straight games in which they have gone at least five innings and allowed two runs or fewer.

Since May 12, Yankees starters have gone 12-4 and allowed only 11 earned runs in 99 innings for a 1.00 ERA. Opposing teams have a .158 batting average.

“It’s definitely devastating," Schmidt said. "Probably having the most fun I have had playing this game in my career, not only having success but the team is winning and the pitching staff is doing well.”

In his last three starts, Schmidt allowed four runs — three earned — in 18 innings. Last Sunday at San Diego, Schmidt went five innings and allowed two runs — one earned — in five innings in the Yankees' 5-2 loss.

Cody Morris was called up from Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre to fill Schmidt's spot. However, Cody Poteet will start Saturday at San Francisco. Poteet has made one start this season and allowed one run and six hits in six innings in the Yankees' 8-2 win over Cleveland on April 13.

Boone also told reporters that Gerrit Cole could begin a minor-league rehab stint next week if recovers well from Thursday's throwing session.

The reigning AL Cy Young winner, who has been shut down due to right elbow discomfort, threw 43 pitches at the team's spring training complex in Tampa, Florida.