As they continue their playoff push, the Yankees have summoned a key reinforcement.
New York reportedly called up its top prospect, left-hander Justus Sheffield, on Saturday in an effort to bolster the bullpen through September and a potential postseason run in October. The move was first reported by the Scranton Times-Tribune and came after Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost the decisive fifth game of the International League Championship Series.
The 22-year-old transitioned to a relief role three weeks ago with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre following an edict from the Yankees front office. The move was made so he could provide value for the Major League club before the end of the season.
Video: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Sheffield gets the K
Sheffield allowed two runs over 13 1/3 innings in five relief appearances and did not walk a batter out of the bullpen. In his first relief outing, he posted six zeros and struck out three. That was a planned outing, however, with A.J. Cole rehabbing for the RailRiders and pitcing the first two innings against Lehigh Valley on June 27.
"It was something I wasn't used to," Sheffield said after the game. "I'm used to watching the game from the dugout, not the outfield."
In his last regular-season outing, the 2014 first-round pick retired all seven batters he faced, striking out four. He pitched in three games in the Governors' Cup playoffs, giving up two runs on nine hits over five innings.
Between Double-A Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, MLB.com's No. 27 overall prospect went 7-6 with a 2.48 ERA. Sheffield moved up to the International League following five strong starts with the Thunder in April. The 2018 Futures Game participant fanned 123 batters over 116 innings and held opponents to a .195 batting average.
The Indians drafted Sheffield 31st overall in 2014 and traded him to New York in July 2016 as part of the Andrew Miller swap.