Yankees: In search of their next great starting pitcher
When the bats are fully awake from the bitterly cold spring, they’ll undoubtedly take a bit of pressure off of the starting five. Of course, patience isn’t something that runs rampant in New York.
So let’s take an early look at some pitchers, both down on the farm and those that are in the final year of their contracts that could be had to strengthen the Yankees potentially — even if some of them aren’t realistic targets until 2019.
Chance Adams — Triple-A: 0-1 with a 4.85 ERA and 15:8 K:BB ratio in 13 innings.
Justus Sheffield — Double-A: 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 22:10 K:BB ratio in 16 innings.
Dillon Tate — Double-A: 1-0 with a 1.90 ERA and 15:2 K:BB ratio in 15 innings.
Jonathan Loaisiga — High-A: 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and a 19:1 K:BB ratio in 15 innings.
Chance Adams has yet to bounce back from a dreadful spring, as the 23-year-old is allowing opponents to hit a robust .320 against him. Having tossed 4.1 innings of five-hit, three-run ball in his last start, Adams’ confidence is shaken.
Although Adams has done little to warrant a promotion to the New York, with so many injuries at the big league level, he may very well be one of those players that is stagnant in the minors and needs a new challenge (ala Gary Sanchez).
I understand that scouts feel Adams still needs to develop a consistent third-pitch, but Luis Severino once required the same thing, and that’s worked out pretty well. Adams’ fastball maxes out in the mid-90s, which doesn’t play well when it stays flat.
Perhaps Larry Rothschild, who has a track record of getting very best out of young shooters can impart some wisdom on the Yanks’ No. 6 prospect.
If you take scouts at their word, Justus Sheffield is the primary name of this bunch they fully expect to grow into a No. 2 or No. 3 type starter in the majors.
Still just 21, Sheffield could continue his fast track to the Bronx if he pitches like he did last Thursday when he struck out eight over six innings of work, allowing two runs on six hits. Sheffield is currently ranked second in the Eastern League with 22 strikeouts.