Justus Sheffield is making waves in the New York Yankees’ farm system. The lefty is already impressing fellow left-hander CC Sabathia.
According to Brandon Kuty of NJ Advance Media, before Sunday night’s rainout in Yankee Stadium, the 19-year veteran was asked if Sheffield is mentally ready to pitch at the major league level. His answer was simple:
Sheffield has been dominant during his time in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. He sports a 2.44 ERA in 11 starts this year. He has 60 strikeouts in 62.2 innings pitched. He turned in another good performance this past weekend, giving up just one run in 5.2 innings of work.
Sabathia has become a mentor to Sheffield during his brief tenure in the organization. The two text each other during the season when they find the time. Sabathia says that he likes the young lefty’s mindset to the game:
“He wants to be good,” Sabathia said. “He asks a lot of questions. Obviously, the stuff is there. He’s got the stuff to pitch in the big leagues. Wanting to be better and asking questions and just trying to be around the right people, I think, is something he does a good job of.”
Yankees skipper Aaron Boone also mentioned to Kuty that Sheffield could be contributing to the major-league level soon.
“He’s had another really good year,” Boone said. “He’s putting himself in position, probably in the short term, to be in consideration for a spot, whether it be a rotation need, whether we have a bullpen need. He certainly probably knocking on that door and being a guy a lot closer to being an option.”
It is an option that the Yankees desperately need to round out their rotation. The recent demotion of Domingo Germán has signaled the need for another quality starting pitcher. Germán started in 13 games and posted a 5.68 ERA.
Even if the Yankees chose to bring up Sheffield in a bullpen-related role, Sabathia mentioned he thinks that Sheffield would show up ready:
“You can put guys in a situation where they have a chance to win, and they’ll always show up,” Sabathia said. “I think he’ll be fine, if that’s the route that it went, if he has to come through the bullpen to crack in, I think he’d be fine at it.”
While it’s unclear what capacity fans will see the young left-hander, it is clear he is getting closer to coming to the Bronx each time he takes the mound.