For most people, the first day of September is just like any other day. For others, however, they receive a call that will change their lives forever. Last year, Justus Sheffield, Stephen Tarpley, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Chance Adams all got the news that they were headed to the Bronx, to put the pinstripes on for the first time.
Let’s take a look at last year’s class of September call-ups, and see how they’ve fared
Around the trade deadline in 2016, the Yankees acquired Sheffield from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Andrew Miller. Pretty quickly, the lefty became a top pitching prospect within the Yankees’ organization. He would start six games in ‘16, and head into the next season as the fourth-best Yankee prospect, and second-best pitching prospect.
After posting a 3.12 ERA with the Trenton Thunder, then a 2.48 ERA with the RailRiders the year after, Sheffield was promoted to the big league team in September of 2018. He did not have a major impact while he was up, only making three appearances, but for the most part, he held his ground. His first taste of big league baseball came later in the month against the Red Sox. Is there a better first game than that? He recorded the final three outs of a 10-1 Yankees victory. His next two games consisted of a combined 1.2 innings, allowing three runs.
As we all know, that would be his last time in pinstripes, as he was traded for James Paxton in the winter. He bounced around the minors for the Mariners this year, but eventually made his way back to the bigs. In his four starts in 2019, Sheffield has a 5.51 ERA with a 4.96 BB/9. Not too impressive thus far, but it’s a small sample size with surface-level numbers.
Tarpley, another lefty pitcher, was summoned to the Bronx to make his first big league appearance on September 2, 2018. He pitched in 10 total games in relief, and was pretty impressive. Facing 40 total batters, he only allowed six hits and three runs. He struck out 13, but also walked six in nine total innings. He looked like he could one day become a strong lefty specialist out of the bullpen, but poor performances in his opportunities this year have set those expectations back a bit. In 16 games, he has an 8.24 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 14 walks. If he can get better command of his pitches and reduce the high walk rate, he still could turn into the pitcher the Yankees hope he can be.
Loaisiga was called up in September of 2018, but he started four games prior to that call-up. However, he had a different role the second go-around. This time, he was coming out of the bullpen. While starting games, he had an ERA of 3.00. While coming out of relief, that number rose to an ERA of 10.80. That pretty much tells you that his September call-up did not exactly go the way he wanted it to. He threw a total of 6.2 innings out of the ‘pen, and was tagged for 11 hits, eight runs, and four walks, to go along with 12 strikeouts.
He was on the injured list and shut down for two months with a right shoulder strain earlier in the year. That said, the righty has pitched in seven games this year, starting one of those. He sports a 4.87 ERA in those seven games, and has the potential to be an effective multi-inning reliever the rest of the way.
Adams was one of the Yankees’ top pitching prospects for quite a while. He hasn’t exactly lived up to they hype, but also hasn’t gotten a great chance to prove himself. Similar to Loaisiga, Adams was called up prior to September for two games, however, he only made one appearance in the month of September. In his two August appearances, including a start against Boston, he threw 6.2 frames and allowed six runs. In his one game in September, he was called upon in relief where he completed one shutout inning. Adams has pitched in nine games this season with a 7.54 ERA, all out of the bullpen.
Just a few days ago, the Yankees called up Clint Frazier and three pitchers, one of which was Adams. The other two were Ryan Dull and Tyler Lyons. Out of the September call-ups from 2018, three have had little impact this season, and one isn’t on the team anymore. New York will look for this year’s call-ups to have better luck.