Clarke Schmidt making most of newfound Yankees standing despite brutal outing

TAMPA — Barring a late addition of a starter such as Blake Snell, Clarke Schmidt is guaranteed a rotation spot.

That knowledge allows him to test things out this spring rather than chase results.

When competing for a roster or rotation spot in previous years, Schmidt needed to show promising stuff and promising statistics to show the Yankees he should be an option. This year, Schmidt can try to experiment like he did Sunday.

The Yankees righty did not retire an opposing batter until the fifth hitter, when the Braves already were up 3-0, and recorded two outs in 27 pitches before getting pulled. (He would reappear for the second and third innings.)

“The goal was to try sequences that we haven’t really used before,” Schmidt said of his first inning after the 9-8 win at Steinbrenner Field. “Maybe throw a few more sinkers, see how the cutter plays off the sinker in different areas.”

The Braves pounced, particularly early in the at-bats, and Schmidt said he adjusted in the next innings.

“After that,” manager Aaron Boone said, “He looked like Clarke.”

The presumed No. 5 starter faced the minimum in the second and third innings, allowing just Jarred Kelenic to reach on a walk but then got a double play from Sean Murphy.

Clarke Schmidt throws during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves.AP

Statistically, Schmidt was charged with four runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 2 ²/₃ innings while building up to 52 pitches.

“There’s no time to work on things in the season and test things out and test different sequences,” Schmidt said. “That’s what spring training’s for.”

Infield prospect Jorbit Vivas played the last four innings at shortstop, a position he had not played with the Dodgers the past few seasons or the Yankees this spring.

Vivas predominantly plays second base and got a look at third Saturday.

“I want to get him some work on the left side of the infield, get him a good feel for that,” Boone said of Vivas, who did not field a ball at shortstop. “It could be a role.”

Jonathan Loáisiga threw two “innings” of a live bullpen session.

Provided he bounces back well, the righty would debut against the Tigers on Thursday in Lakeland, Fla., Boone said.

Aaron Judge was lifted after two at-bats while other regulars received at least one more.

There was no injury, according to Judge and Boone. Boone had approached Judge earlier in the day to ensure it would be OK if Trent Grisham entered midgame.

“What is it, March 10?” Judge said he told Boone. “I’m good with whatever you got.”

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