New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone fielded several questions about Justus Sheffield during his post-game press conference after defeating the Red Sox. For a player that still hasn’t thrown his first pitch in the MLB, Sheffield has been one of the hottest topics for Yankee fans all year, and even all of baseball. As the top prospect in the Yankee organization, and one of the dozen best in baseball, his journey to the bigs has many eyes upon him. With rumors swirling about his imminent call-up since July, his actual arrival hit with a bit of a thud for many fans hoping to see him in action last night.
For the Yankees, the main thing last night was getting the win, and as such, putting the ball into the experienced hands of Zach Britton made sense. Boone has said that Sheffield will see some action at some point, but when that point will be no one seems to know. The prevailing logic is he will get his first opportunity in a blowout, one way or the other, where it is as pressure free of a situation as possible. But with only a handful of games remaining, and each one being important in the pursuit of home-field advantage in the wild card, that exact situation may not present itself, according to NJ Advance Media.
When pressed for details about Sheffield playing, or being added to the postseason roster, Boone came back with a bit of a generic wait-and-see type of answer, which landed him in hot water with fans on Twitter yet again. Fans want to know what is ahead for Sheffield, and Boone not having answers is frustrating them.
“You never know how the next couple weeks unfold. I’m mindful of this time that a lot changes day to day, every couple of days, week to week, depending on need, depending on performance, depending on how guys are looking. I would say no specific plan as far as, not necessarily a specific role for him. He’s someone that potentially gives us a little bit of length. He’s not someone who’s built up as a starter for most of the season, but he’s still a guy that we feel like could give us a couple innings if we need it.”
Boone didn’t have much more to add to the topic, and generally repeated some variation of that answer each time a reporter questioned him on Sheffield, which appeared to frustrate the beat writers a bit as well, as they continued pressing him on it. The early talk is Sheffield would be used in much the same way as David Price was in 2008 by Tampa Bay when he left starting in the minors to become a nearly dominant reliever down the stretch, per the Inquisitr.
Sheffield has been repeating his Bull Durham lines when questioned by the press about his role on the team, now and potentially in October, being careful to mirror what is coming out of his manager’s mouth, as reported by NJ Advance Media.
“No clue. Like I said, honestly not giving it much thought, I’m just going to go out there and help any way I can when I’m out there on the mound.”
The Yankees face the Red Sox tonight in a game that will be carried by the YES Network and NESN. It is a safe bet fans will be tuning in once again just in case Sheffield makes his MLB debut so they can say they saw his first pitch.