Tommy Kahnle #41 of the Yankees reacts after walking in a...

Tommy Kahnle #41 of the Yankees reacts after walking in a run during the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, Sep. 20, 2023. Credit: Jim McIsaac

JUPITER, Fla. — The Yankees might have an opening in their bullpen for Opening Day. Manager Aaron Boone said on Monday that Tommy Kahnle might not be quite ready when the Yankees begin the season on March 28 in Houston.

“We’ll see,” Boone said when asked if Kahnle — who has not appeared in a spring training game as he recovers from a shoulder injury that cut short his 2023 season — will be ready to go for the opener.

"I think he'll be ‘ready,’ ” Boone said with an emphasis on the word “ready” that was akin to using air quotes. “But it's a matter of do we want him to have more games under his belt? That's what we're kind of deciding."

Boone said he doesn’t expect Kahnle to pitch in a game “until more towards the end of spring.” Kahnle made his final 2023 appearance on Sept. 20.

New pitch works for Schmidt

Clarke Schmidt threw four shutout innings (one hit, one strikeout, 44 pitches, 34 strikes) in the Yankees' 3-2 victory over Miami on Monday night in his second spring training start.

Schmidt said he was especially pleased with a new “split-changeup” he has started throwing that he learned by watching video of Toronto righthander Kevin Gausman, who led the American League in strikeouts last season with 237.

“Something that I was fiddling with,” Schmidt said. “Got a few swings and misses on it, got a few rollers on it.”

Boone lauds Donaldson

Josh Donaldson, who announced his retirement on Monday, had many terrific seasons. None of them came in his two years with the Yankees.

But that didn’t stop Boone from texting with Donaldson after he heard the news.

“Obviously, it didn't go anywhere close to how he wanted to or we wanted to, necessarily,” Boone said. “But I respect the person, the player. He worked his [butt] off and he wanted it bad. Just he kept getting tripped up, whether it was injury, whatever it may have been with us, where he wasn't able to kind of recapture what he's done throughout his career. I respect to the very end [that] he was grinding away at it.”

Donaldson hit .222 for the Yankees in 2022 after coming over from Minnesota along with Isiah Kiner-Falefa in a trade that sent Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela to the Twins.

In May of that season, Donaldson was suspended for one game by MLB after he called White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson "Jackie" in a reference to baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson.

Last season, Donaldson hit.142 in 33 games for the Yankees before getting released in August. The 2015 AL MVP signed with the Brewers and hit .169 with three homers in 17 games. He finished his 13-year career with 279 homers.

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