The Tampa Yankees came into this week with some extra rest, having an off-day on Monday to prepare for upcoming series against Dunedin and Brevard County. The six-game home-stand would include the majority of the Yankees’ final home games as they had just two more home games remaining for the rest of the season. Tampa dropped two of three against Dunedin, but ended the week with a sweep over Brevard County, going 4-2 for the week.
The Yankees opened up their first series against the first place Dunedin Jays. The Jays have had a powerful lineup throughout the second half, and it’d just continue as they came to Tampa. The Yankees had Justus Sheffield start the first game, who in three games has had stellar performances. However, the Jays would take advantage of his control issues from the start of the game. The Jays tacked four runs on Sheffield (three earned) on three hits. While Justus did strike out five in his 3 2/3 innings pitched, he also walked three. This outing showed Sheffield’s main issue which is control. In his debut, we were able to see how strong he can be when he has full command of hitters on the outside zone, and then finish them going inside. Against the Jays he still made some hitters look dazed, but the lacking command made it hard for him to find the strike zone more often than not. Sheffield did bounce back in his start on Sunday, however. Justus threw five innings, letting just one hit get by and striking out five. His control was still somewhat of an issue as he walked three, but hitters didn’t take advantage of it this time around. He finished his five innings with 86 pitches.
Yefrey Ramirez and Dillon McNamara managed to do something no one has been able to do to the Jays since exactly a month before, shut them out. Ramirez carried a no-hitter through seven innings for Tampa on Wednesday, but a single to start the eighth would end that streak. He still finished with eight innings pitched, one hit, eight strikeouts, and no walks. McNamara came in for his 12th save of the season as the Yankees won 3-0. Yefrey’s next start is scheduled to be against Dunedin on Monday. Another honorable mention for the week would be from the bullpen, Caleb Frare. He missed all of June, but since then he’s only given up two runs in 23 innings throughout July and August. He currently hasn’t allowed an earned run since August 1st over the span of 11 innings pitched.
I stated last week how Gleyber Torres was on the cooler side with his bat, but the Yankees upcoming home games were a chance for him to heat up. He managed to do that in the Yankees’ sweep over Brevard County, contributing seven RBIs over three games. Torres was strong, along with the continued success from Thairo Estrada, who extended his hitting streak to eight games on Sunday. During the hitting streak, Thairo has boosted his average from .270 to .287. The Yankees would score 19 runs in their three-game sweep over Brevard County including the 15-hit day on Sunday. The Yankees have also gotten solid at-bats from Trey Amburgey, Rashad Crawford, and Kevin Cornelius. Amburgey contributed six RBIs this week, complimenting his six hits.
Moving into next week, something to look at will be promotions to Double-A Trenton. If a pitcher is sent up, the clear choice at this point would be Josh Rogers, who has been the most consistent starting pitcher in the last couple of months for Tampa. As for position players, no one has been extremely stunning besides Estrada, and it is extremely unlikely the 20-year-old will get the call to Trenton. Pinstriped Prospects will be following promotion rumors closely through the week as we head into September.