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Yankees 2018 Roster Report Card: The rookie pitchers

Several pitchers made their MLB debuts for the Bombers in 2018.

Stephen Tarpley recorded 13 of his 27 outs via strikeouts pitching for the Yankees in 2018.
Stephen Tarpley recorded 13 of his 27 outs via strikeouts pitching for the Yankees in 2018.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

We wrap up our 2018 Yankees Report Card series by looking at a quartet of pitchers who made their big-league debuts for the Bombers this year. None of them saw much action in The Show, one was traded, and each maintains his rookie eligibility heading into the 2019 season.

Justus Sheffield

Grade: B

2018 MLB Statistics: 2.2 IP, 10.13 ERA, 11.41 FIP, 0.0 K/9, 10.1 BB/9, 3.4 HR/9, 2.63 WHIP

2018 MiLB Statistics: 116 IP, 2.48 ERA, 9.5 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 0.3 HR/9, 1.14 WHIP

Justus Sheffield made his debut at Yankee Stadium, in the ninth inning of a blow-out win against the Red Sox on September 19th. He allowed three of the first four batters to reach on a pair of singles and a walk, but induced Mookie Betts to ground into a game-ending double play to escape the jam without giving up a run. A week later, he came on in relief of David Robertson in the eighth inning with two on and one out. He recorded the final two outs, but allowed a run to score when he threw away a pick-off attempt.

The left-hander made his third and final appearance for the Yankees on the last day of the regular season. He started the fourth inning with New York trailing 7-2, walked a pair of batters, and then coughed up a three-run homer to J.D. Martinez. He finished the frame, but not before allowing a double and a wild pitch.

Sheffield’s brief Yankees career was underwhelming. Unfortunately, we won’t get to see him improve while wearing the pinstripes, as he was traded to the Mariners last week for James Paxton. Sheffield is an exciting young pitcher, and we all wish him well.

Chance Adams

Grade: D+

2018 MLB Statistics: 7.2 IP, 7.04 ERA, 8.77 FIP, 4.7 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, 3.5 HR/9, 1.57 WHIP

2018 MiLB Statistics: 113 IP, 4.78 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 1.3 HR/9, 1.41 WHIP

Chance Adams put up great numbers in Triple-A in 2017, leading many to eagerly anticipate his major-league debut. Despite a poor showing in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre earlier this season, the right-hander was called up anyway due to need.

Adams made his first start against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 4th. He gave up three runs on only three hits, but two of them were homers. He followed with an ugly relief performance against the Marlins in Miami two weeks later, when he gave up four runs on four hits and three walks, while only recording four outs.

The 24-year-old right-hander finished the season on a high note, though. Adams entered the season finale at Fenway in the eighth inning, worked around a double, and notched two strikeouts to complete the frame.

Jonathan Loaisiga

Grade: B-

2018 MLB Statistics: 24.2 IP, 5.11 ERA, 3.52 FIP, 12.0 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, 1.54 WHIP

2018 MiLB Statistics: 56 IP, 2.89 ERA, 10.8 K/9, 1.3 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9, 1.16 WHIP

Jonathan Loaisiga made four starts for the Yankees this season before getting hurt, with the first one coming against the Rays in St. Petersburg on June 15th. The right-hander hurled five innings of three-hit ball to notch his first major-league win. In his next outing against the Mariners, he allowed three runs on six hits, while failing to complete four innings.

Loaisiga bounced back to allow just one hit over 5.1 scoreless frames against the Phillies, before allowing three runs over four innings in his final start. He returned from the disabled list in September, making five relief appearances with mixed results.

Considering he wasn’t even on the radar screen at the beginning of the season, Loaisiga made a great overall impression. The team won three of his four starts after turning to him out of necessity. Loaisiga is one to watch heading into next season.

Stephen Tarpley

Grade: B+

2018 MLB Statistics: 9.0 IP, 3.00 ERA, 2.27 FIP, 13.0 K/9, 6.0 BB/9, 0.0 HR/9, 1.33 WHIP

2018 MiLB Statistics: 69.2 IP, 1.94 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9, 0.96 WHIP

Stephen Tarpley gave up three runs in his major-league debut on September 2nd. He then proceeded to throw eight scoreless frames across nine games to close out the year, while holding opponents hitless over his final six appearances. The 25-year-old southpaw really opened some eyes by recording 13 of his 27 outs this season via strikeouts.

The Yankees were impressed enough with the small sample size to add Tarpley to their Division Series roster. He stands an excellent chance of making the team out of spring training, and Tarpley could contribute in a big way pitching out of the bullpen next year.