Only twice through the rotation at Triple-A, Justus Sheffield will be taking a pause in his climb to the Major Leagues.
Baseball's No. 46 overall prospect was placed on the seven-day disabled list at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday due to left shoulder stiffness, a day after he left his start early.
Sheffield was in the midst of completing a fourth hitless inning to open his Friday night when he was forced from the game after 3 2/3. On his 51st pitch of the game, Sheffield struck out Rochester's Kennys Vargas but was promptly visited on the mound by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Bobby Mitchell and athletic trainer Darren London before leaving the game, according to The Scranton Times-Tribune.
After the transaction, Mitchell was optimistic about a quick return.
The Yankees' No. 3 prospect was making just his second start with the RailRiders after opening the season at Double-A. Combined between Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Sheffield has gone 1-3 with a 2.23 ERA in seven starts. Over his 36 1/3 total innings, the 21-year-old has struck out 48 batters against 20 walks while limiting opponents to a .160 average and posting a stingy 1.10 WHIP.
Sheffield spent nearly two months on the disabled list last year in the Eastern League with a strained oblique. After being placed on the DL on July 6, he didn't return to the mound until Sept. 3 but helped lead Trenton to an Eastern League Finals appearance, posting a 2.16 ERA in two postseason starts.
He also impressed while making up for lost innings in the Arizona Fall League. Sheffield made five starts for Scottsdale in the showcase circuit, going 2-2 with a 3.10 ERA and 22 strikeouts against only three walks in 20 1/3 innings.
Originally a Cleveland 2014 first-round pick, Sheffield was traded to New York on July 31, 2016 as part of the Trade Deadline deal that sent big league closer Andrew Miller to the Tribe.