Chance Adams set for MLB debut for Yanks

Righty prospect called on to fill in for Happ vs. Sox on Saturday

August 3rd, 2018

BOSTON -- Right-handed pitching prospect Chance Adams will make his first Major League start at Fenway Park on Saturday as the Yankees face the Red Sox, manager Aaron Boone said Friday.

The game is a high-pressure one for an MLB debut, but Boone said he is confident that Adams can handle the intensity of the rivalry.

"As we've seen with a lot of our guys, they've come up and been able to handle these situations," Boone said. "And I think it's a tribute to our player development in our organization for preparing these guys for what it is like to come up and pitch in the fire."

Adams, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2015 Draft and is New York's No. 13 prospect as ranked by MLB Pipeline. He will be filling in for left-hander J.A. Happ, who is on the disabled list with hand, foot and mouth disease.

Adams will become the 11th Yankees pitcher to make his first MLB start at Fenway Park, with the last being Randy Keisler on Sept. 10, 2000.

Boone was originally considering for the role. But when departed after just three innings in Thursday's 15-7 loss to the Red Sox, Cessa was one of four Yankees relievers to make an appearance. He allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings, crossing him off as a potential starter for Saturday.

The strain that game brought on the bullpen prompted the Yanks to turn to the Minor Leagues for fresh arms. They called up Tommy Kahnle on Friday and optioned Cessa to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to add another reliever to the bullpen.

Adams is 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 21 starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. He's allowed 81 hits, 48 walks and 11 home runs while striking out 102 batters in 98 innings. He has a 3.32 ERA in his past nine starts, during which he struck out 37 batters in 43 1/3 innings.

In 2016-17, Adams went a combined 28-6 in the Minor Leagues, including a 15-5 record with a 2.45 ERA last season. He had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow last offseason.

But Boone said Adams' most recent start was the most impressive -- and is the reason he is confident in Adams on Saturday. Adams struck out eight while allowing two hits, one run and four walks in 7 1/3 innings on Monday.

"First start, and there's always going to be jitters that go with that," Boone said. "And that's part of it and dealing with it. And sometimes that can be something that works for a guy, and hopefully that's the case with Chance."