3. Accelerate Justus Sheffield’s timeline
More than a few eyebrows were raised when Loaisiga got the call to replace Tanaka over Sheffield. The lefty, after all, is already pitching at the AAA level while Loaisiga had been merely average at AA in terms of results. Even so, it’s clear the Yankees still have high hopes for their talented southpaw prospect.
At the moment, the plan is to keep him in AAA for the time being to help him get some more professional innings under his belt. That’s almost certainly the right plan for his long-term career. However, one more issue with the rotation may require the team to push Sheffield’s timeline up.
Sheffield would almost certainly be called up in the event of another injury. He’s also the logical successor to either Domingo German or Loaisiga if they run into a bad run of form. Sheffield doesn’t project as an ace, but most scouts believe he can comfortably slot into the middle of New York’s rotation for years to come.
Again, calling Sheffield up isn’t the sexiest move Cashman can make. He doesn’t have top of the rotation stuff. Sheffield isn’t going to come up to the majors and start blowing hitters away with his dominant array of pitches. What he can do, however, is pitch effectively and get hitters out consistently enough to profile as a league average starter. That could be enough to push the Yankees over the top in October.