Justus Sheffield throws a pitch at spring training

Yankees Call Up Top Pitching Prospect Justus Sheffield

September 18, 2018 - 10:35 am

By WFAN.com

It has been a long time coming, but Yankees fans are finally going to get to see their top pitching prospect strut his stuff in the big leagues.

The club announced Tuesday morning it has signed Justus Sheffield to a major league contract. Sheffield has immediately been selected to the active roster. He will wear No. 61.

In addition to Sheffield, the Yankees have recalled right-hander Domingo German and placed outfielder Todd Frazier on the 60-day disabled list. 

Sheffield is just 22 years old, but anticipation for his major league debut has been building for a while. He split time this season between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 25 appearances (20 starts), he went 7-6 with a 2.48 ERA, including 123 strikeouts in 116 innings. He was moved from the rotation to the bullpen in August in preparation for a possible late-season call-up. 

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The Tullahoma, Tennessee, native was acquired from the Cleveland Indians on July 31, 2016, as part of the Andrew Miller trade. The left-hander started then in Single-A and moved to Double-A last year, but it has always been clear that his path would eventually lead him to the Bronx. 

The Yankees are calling up Sheffield at a crucial time for the organization. Aaron Boone's team has struggled since the All-Star break, has fallen 11 1/2 games behind the Red Sox for the AL East lead and is in danger of losing home-field advantage in the wild-card game to the Oakland Athletics, whom it leads by just a game and a half.

Sheffield's long-term future is probably as a starter, but it's normal for a young pitcher to notch his first experiences in the big leagues by coming out of the bullpen. The Yankees' relievers have struggled with inconsistency lately despite being viewed as a strength for much of the season. 

Sheffield will be available Tuesday night when the Yankees and Red Sox meet in the Bronx to begin a three-game series