RailRiders Notebook: Justus Sheffield joins Triple-A club after eventful final day in Trenton

By DJ Eberle - [email protected]
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders pitcher Justus Sheffield, right, talks to pitcher Josh Rogers during Friday’s game against the Pawtucket. Sheffield was promoted from Double-A prior to the game against the Red Sox. -

MOOSIC — Justus Sheffield had quite the couple of days Thursday, when he was promoted to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and Friday, when he arrived in Moosic.

Like the rest of the world, the 21-year-old learned that he was moving up to Triple-A on Twitter. It wasn’t until he arrived at Arm & Hammer Park later that afternoon when Trenton Thunder manager Jay Bell broke the news to him.

“I’m very excited,” Sheffield said. ”It’s been a long couple days just because we got back from Portland at six in the morning. I woke up that day and I read on Twitter — I heard the news on Twitter. I was like, ‘Man, I don’t even know.’ I hadn’t gotten a call yet or anything, so I go to the field and they finally told me I’m coming up here. I’m very excited to get up here and continue toward the final goal.”

Sheffield joins the RailRiders after making five starts and registering a 1-2 record and 2.25 ERA.

The New York Yankees No. 3 prospect, according to Baseball America, is coming off of his best start of the season, pitching six innings of three-hit baseball against Portland on Tuesday. He struck out a season-high nine batters.

Sheffield will make his Triple-A debut Sunday in Pawtucket.

“I feel good. I’m confident right now,” Sheffield said. “The ball’s coming out real good. My work weeks have been good. Just got to keep it going.”

Lind ready to prove he belongs

Adam Lind saw some foreshadowing at the end of the last year with the Washington Nationals.

He knew that once the Nationals declined his option and he chose to elect free agency in November that there was a chance he’d get squeezed out this offseason as a free agent. And it’s exactly what happened.

Lind signed a minor league deal with the Yankees in March but was released after 11 days with the hopes of sticking on with a major league contract with some other team before spring training came to a close. But that never happened.

Now he’s back in the Yankees organization and looking to prove to himself that he still has what it takes to make it back.

“It’s just the way the world is right now,” Lind said. “You think you had a good enough year to make a major league deal and you’re good enough to play in the big leagues. It’s a bit of a — it’s kind of depressing to not have anyone value you or want you on their team but it puts a chip on your shoulder and it drives you to get back.

“It’s more about myself because they tell me — whoever they is —but nobody wanted me, so it’s for myself to want to get back to the big leagues and prove to myself that I’m still a big-league ballplayer.”

Now that Lind is with the RailRiders and just one call away, his dream of getting back to the bigs is even clearer now.

And in his first night in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pinstripes on Friday, Lind already made an impact. Pinch-hitting in the ninth inning, Lind hit an RBI single to put the RailRiders’ comeback bid within one run.

“My goal every year is no DL time and that will probably be the primary goal again,” Lind said. “Two, is get back to the show. Get back under the bright lights.”

Frazier getting comfortable in center

Clint Frazier hadn’t played in center field since 2016. But when he was back in the position for the first time this season on Thursday, it felt like home.

Despite the layoff, Frazier has found his footing rather quickly. He made a pair of impressive plays on Thursday — making a diving catch in the first and throwing out a Pawtucket base runner at third in the midst of a late-inning run by the Red Sox.

“I think he’s real comfortable there,” RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell said. “It’s just like to keep him comfortable and work on his reads, really.”

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders pitcher Justus Sheffield, right, talks to pitcher Josh Rogers during Friday’s game against the Pawtucket. Sheffield was promoted from Double-A prior to the game against the Red Sox.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Justus-Sheffield-SWB-CMYK.jpgScranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders pitcher Justus Sheffield, right, talks to pitcher Josh Rogers during Friday’s game against the Pawtucket. Sheffield was promoted from Double-A prior to the game against the Red Sox.

By DJ Eberle

[email protected]

Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle

Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle