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Yanks miss chance to sweep rivals, delay party

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton raised his arms into the air and floated around the basepaths, celebrating a grand slam that the slumping slugger sorely needed. Yet it would not be enough for the Yankees, who had no choice but to plug their ears and ignore the celebration being prepared in the visiting clubhouse of their building.

Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a game-tying seventh-inning homer and Mookie Betts returned from an injury scare to enjoy a four-hit, five-RBI evening, helping the Red Sox clinch the American League East for a third consecutive season with an 11-6 victory over the Yankees on Thursday evening in the Bronx.

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NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton raised his arms into the air and floated around the basepaths, celebrating a grand slam that the slumping slugger sorely needed. Yet it would not be enough for the Yankees, who had no choice but to plug their ears and ignore the celebration being prepared in the visiting clubhouse of their building.

Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a game-tying seventh-inning homer and Mookie Betts returned from an injury scare to enjoy a four-hit, five-RBI evening, helping the Red Sox clinch the American League East for a third consecutive season with an 11-6 victory over the Yankees on Thursday evening in the Bronx.

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"They've had a solid year. We can't deny that," Stanton said. "You never want it to be here that they get it, but we gave it what we've got. They can celebrate now and we've got time to celebrate later."

Video: BOS@NYY: Kimbrel K's Stanton to clinch AL East title

After two evenings of preventing the Red Sox from celebrating, the Yankees permitted a party to the Red Sox, who have been alone in first place since July 2. Boston was relatively restrained on the field; as it was in 2016, when it also clinched the division at Yankee Stadium, Boston did most of its splashing behind closed doors.

"I felt like we did a lot of things well in this series," said Yankees manager Aaron Boone, whose club has a 1 1/2-game lead over the A's for the top AL Wild Card. "We couldn't finish it off when it looked like we had a nice little comeback going there in the middle of this game. This stings a little bit, but we also feel like we've gotten our guys back. We feel like we're in position to hopefully take off and really start playing well."

Video: BOS@NYY: Boone on Tanaka, Red Sox clinching AL East

The late lead change occurred after Stanton mashed a Heath Hembree offering into the right-field seats for his 35th homer, a fourth-inning drive that followed three consecutive walks by Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez, including a 10-pitch battle with Aaron Judge.

Hot-hitting newcomer Luke Voit had slugged his 10th homer in the second inning, simultaneously establishing a new franchise record for home runs in a single-season (247, including Stanton's grand slam) and securing the Yankees' place as the only team in Major League history to boast a dozen players with 10 or more homers.

Video: BOS@NYY: Yanks set new HR record on Voit's 2-run jack

While Steven Wright calmed New York's bats over three scoreless innings, Boston scored seven unanswered runs after Stanton's grand slam, six off the Yankees' bullpen.

J.D. Martinez lashed a run-scoring hit off Masahiro Tanaka in a sluggish 31-pitch first inning before Betts picked up a two-run single in the second and Brock Holt homered in the fifth.

"As far as pitches go, I don't think it was awful tonight," Tanaka said. "I think the Red Sox offense got some good hits off of it. You kind of have to tip your cap to them. We came back with Giancarlo's big home run there. After that, you really want to shut down that fifth inning. I wasn't able to do that."

Facing Chad Green in the seventh, Xander Bogaerts gave the Red Sox the lead on a sacrifice fly, with Aaron Hicks' throw to third base skipping past Miguel Andujar to point home another run. Aroldis Chapman served up a three-run homer to Betts in the eighth inning, marking the left-hander's first appearance since being activated from the disabled list.

Video: BOS@NYY: Red Sox take 2-run lead on sac fly, error

"I felt good. That's the important thing about it," Chapman said through an interpreter. "I'm healthy. It's good. The other stuff, we can work on."

SOUND SMART
With home runs from Voit and Stanton, the Yankees have hit 247 homers this season, surpassing the franchise record of 245 established in 2012. They own the seventh-highest total in Major League history, trailing the 1997 Mariners (264), 2005 Rangers (260), '10 Blue Jays (257), '96 Orioles (257), '16 Orioles (253) and the '00 Astros (249).

HE SAID IT
"It was just a long, tough, slug-it-out game and they just came up with more big offensive plays than we did tonight. It would've finished the start of a great series, but credit to them. They just kind of weren't going to be denied today." -- Boone

UP NEXT
CC Sabathia (7-7, 3.80 ERA) has the ball to open the Yankees' final home series of the regular season, beginning a weekend set with the Orioles on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Sabathia hurled just 2 1/3 innings in his last outing, allowing five runs and seven hits in a loss to the Blue Jays. The veteran left-hander has one win in 11 starts dating back to July 9. Right-hander Yefry Ramirez (1-6, 5.50 ERA), whom the Yankees traded in July for international bonus pool money, will start for Baltimore.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees

Stanton breaks out of slump with grand slam

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- While the Yankees rolled against David Price and the Red Sox on Wednesday evening, littering the scoreboard with crooked numbers from the second inning on, one of their most important sluggers was left out of the fun.

After a season of fattening his numbers against Boston pitching, Giancarlo Stanton was 0-for-9 in the first two games of the series. His fortunes changed in the fourth inning on Thursday, as Stanton crushed a grand slam to right field off Heath Hembree, giving the Yankees a 6-4 lead at the time.

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NEW YORK -- While the Yankees rolled against David Price and the Red Sox on Wednesday evening, littering the scoreboard with crooked numbers from the second inning on, one of their most important sluggers was left out of the fun.

After a season of fattening his numbers against Boston pitching, Giancarlo Stanton was 0-for-9 in the first two games of the series. His fortunes changed in the fourth inning on Thursday, as Stanton crushed a grand slam to right field off Heath Hembree, giving the Yankees a 6-4 lead at the time.

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Stanton had batted .130 (12-for-92) with two homers in his last 24 games, a drought that he was thrilled to end. Raising his arms after contact, Stanton leaped and bashed his large frame into teammates after crossing home plate, then accepted a curtain call from the roaring crowd.

Before Thursday's game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone expressed confidence that Stanton was close to getting his swing on track.

"I think the timing has been just a little bit off," Boone said. "Every hitter strives to be on time and be in that good position to hit, and I just think he's had a little bit of a hard time being on time consistently. The result is sometimes you don't swing at pitches you should be or you're a little behind on pitches because you're not on time."

Boone said that he does not believe Stanton's left hamstring has been a significant issue, even as managing the tightness in his leg prompted the Yankees to limit Stanton's defensive innings.

"There's no question this time of the year when you've played every day there's a fatigue factor, but I honestly don't think it's been much of a factor with him swinging the bat," Boone said. "It's something that he's dealt with. I think there's been times in the year when it's been a little bit sore, he's been at his best at the plate."

Stanton made 85 consecutive starts from May 28 through Sept. 1, saying at one point that while he could have benefited from a break, he felt a responsibility to be on the field while fellow stars Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez were sidelined.

"As much as he's played and the wear and tear that goes with it, I think that's affected his legs a little bit … but he's done such as good job of handling it and maintaining it," Boone said. "I really don't think there's anything that is preventing him from getting rolling again, and I believe he will. He'll get it rolling again."

The "dude" abides

The Yankees believed that they were importing a quality performer with their late August trade for Andrew McCutchen, noting the .357 on-base percentage that he had compiled in 568 plate appearances with the Giants.

McCutchen has continued to impress his new club, entering play on Thursday having reached base safely in exactly half of his last 40 plate appearances (eight hits, 11 walks and one hit-by-pitch). That performance prompted Boone to remark that McCutchen "is going to be a dude for us" in October.

Video: TOR@NYY: McCutchen opens scoring with leadoff homer

"All we've seen since he's gotten here, even the first week when he wasn't getting a lot of hits, we've seen a guy that really controls the strike zone and has gotten on base a ton for us," Boone said. "He has been an impactful teammate, and someone that plays like a winning player. He's done a lot for us."

McCutchen's presence and Judge's activation from the disabled list has reduced playing time for Brett Gardner, but Boone said that he sees avenues to get Gardner into games as a defensive replacement or by resting regulars.

"Down the final 10 games, he's going to play a lot and he's going to start a lot," Boone said of Gardner. "I'm going to have to give Aaron Judge a day off. I'm going to have to give McCutchen a day. I want to give Stanton a day, [Aaron] Hicks a day.

"You add all those up and Gardy is the guy that is playing in those situations. They all will be able to protect each other. They all will get at-bats here. He can very much play himself into a more significant role than you may think sitting here right now."

This date in Yankees history

Sept. 20, 1958: The Yankees are held hitless by Orioles knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm in a 1-0 loss at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. It remains the most recent time that the Yankees have been no-hit by a single pitcher, though six Astros combined to no-hit the Yankees on June 11, 2003.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton

Voit's homer sets two new records for Yankees

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- The Luke Voit Show rolls on, and the latest installment altered the history books.

Voit mashed a two-run homer off Eduardo Rodriguez of the Red Sox in the second inning of the Yankees' 11-6 loss on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. It was the Yankees' 246th home run of the season, establishing a new single-season franchise record by eclipsing the 245 homers hit by the 2012 Yankees.

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NEW YORK -- The Luke Voit Show rolls on, and the latest installment altered the history books.

Voit mashed a two-run homer off Eduardo Rodriguez of the Red Sox in the second inning of the Yankees' 11-6 loss on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. It was the Yankees' 246th home run of the season, establishing a new single-season franchise record by eclipsing the 245 homers hit by the 2012 Yankees.

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Giancarlo Stanton would add to the home run total two innings later when he roped a grand slam into the right-field seats to give New York a 6-4 lead.

Video: BOS@NYY: Stanton cranks a grand slam to right field

The 247 homers are the most in the Majors since the 2016 Orioles hit 253 long balls. The Yankees are on pace to approach the all-time record of 264 homers, hit by the 1997 Mariners.

In addition, the blast to Monument Park was Voit's 10th homer since joining the club, making the Yankees the first team in Major League history to have a dozen players reach double digits in home runs.

Voit joined Giancarlo Stanton (34), Didi Gregorius (26), Aaron Judge (26), Miguel Andujar (25), Aaron Hicks (24), Gleyber Torres (23), Gary Sanchez (16), Brett Gardner (12), Greg Bird (11), Austin Romine (10) and Neil Walker (10).

The previous record of 11 players with 10 or more homers was shared by the 2004 Tigers, the '15 Astros, the '16 Twins and the '17 Astros.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

Ralph Lauren throws first pitch for Yanks

Legendary fashion designer Ralph Lauren loves sports. Born and raised in the Bronx, Lauren has watched his fair share of Yankees games.

Youth is served: Yanks' best rookie this season

MLB.com

Each year, a new group of rookies sets out to make a mark in the Major Leagues, and in 2018, many of these young players have made history with their performances. They're fueling clubs during postseason races, as well as giving fans a glimpse of what's to come in the years ahead.

With the aid of all 30 MLB.com beat writers, here's a look at each team's best rookie this season:

Each year, a new group of rookies sets out to make a mark in the Major Leagues, and in 2018, many of these young players have made history with their performances. They're fueling clubs during postseason races, as well as giving fans a glimpse of what's to come in the years ahead.

With the aid of all 30 MLB.com beat writers, here's a look at each team's best rookie this season:

Video: Callis looks at rookies' long-term futures

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Ryan Borucki
Borucki has opened his Major League career with quality starts in 10 of his first 15 outings. Even though Borucki did not make his debut until the end of June, he has the third-most starts of at least six innings and two runs or fewer among Major League rookies. Only San Francisco's Dereck Rodriguez has registered more of those starts this season. Borucki appears to be a future cornerstone of the Blue Jays' rotation and his rookie campaign has been an overwhelming success with a 3.86 ERA.

Orioles: Cedric Mullins
It's been a tough year for Baltimore, but Mullins has given O's fans a glimmer of hope in the past two months. Since becoming the first Oriole to record three hits in his debut, the center fielder -- who moved Adam Jones over to right -- has showcased his range and speed and has become a table-setter for a lineup that sorely needs more dynamic players.

Rays: Joey Wendle
Tampa Bay acquired Wendle from Oakland during the Winter Meetings -- the same day the Yankees finalized their acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton. Many found humor in how the Rays "answered" their division foe's acquisition. Wendle has hardly been a joke, though. He's played second base, third base, shortstop, right field and left field. While Wendle's glove has been dazzling as billed, particularly at second, his bat has been equally so. He always seems to be in the middle of rallies. Wendle has above-average speed and runs out every ball, and he's shown decent power. He has been a big reason for Tampa Bay's marked improvement this season.

Red Sox: Brian Johnson
Out of options, Johnson had no option but to become a dependable contributor for the Red Sox this season, and that's exactly what he has done. Though he has unspectacular numbers (4-4, 4.24 ERA), Johnson has been one of the most important members of the pitching staff for manager Alex Cora because of his ability to move seamlessly between the bullpen and starting rotation, and often doing both roles within days of each other. In 12 starts, Johnson is 4-2 with a 4.06 ERA. He could have a few more wins, but he was taken out just shy of five innings numerous times.

Yankees: Miguel Andujar
Nothing was handed to Andujar, who made the most of an early-season opportunity when Brandon Drury landed on the disabled list to grab hold of the third-base job. Andujar's calling card is his bat, and he quickly cemented a reputation as an extra-base hit machine, tallying the third-most extra-base hits by a rookie in Yankees history behind Joe DiMaggio (88) and Aaron Judge (79). The AL Rookie of the Month in June and August, Andujar has worked to polish his defense. With Gleyber Torres also enjoying a strong season, the Yanks have two legitimate choices to follow Judge as the AL Rookie of the Year Award winner.

Video: BOS@NYY: Andujar opens scoring with a solo HR in 2nd

AL CENTRAL

Indians: Shane Bieber
Indians manager Terry Francona jokes that Chris Antonetti, the team's president of baseball operations, did not bring Bieber to MLB camp in the spring because the manager would not have let the pitcher return to the Minors. Bieber, 23, cruised through Double-A and Triple-A, posting a 1.47 ERA with 77 strikeouts vs. seven walks in 79 2/3 innings. When the back of Cleveland's rotation ran into some issues, Bieber rose to the big leagues. He debuted in late May and returned for good in June. The rookie has enjoyed a promising campaign and figures to be a part of the Tribe's postseason pitching staff.

Royals: Brad Keller
Keller, a right-hander, was an absolute steal in the Rule 5 Draft. He started the season in the bullpen and eventually graduated to the rotation, where he has been arguably the Royals' best starter and certainly a top-of-the-rotation guy moving forward. Opposing hitters throughout the season have called facing Keller an "uncomfortable at-bat." His four-seam fastball, which hovers around 93-95 mph, moves like a cutter, and he has worked to develop an effective slider and changeup. During a recent six-game stretch, Keller went 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA, permitting just a .645 OPS. While Keller, 23, likely won't win the AL Rookie of the Year Award -- especially with Shohei Ohtani, Torres and Andujar in the running -- he at least deserves some consideration. Keller is a lock for the rotation in 2019.

Tigers: Niko Goodrum
The Tigers took a chance on the former Twins second-round pick, extending a Spring Training invite in the hopes that his versatility and athleticism would help him stick while learning on the job in the big leagues. Much to their surprise, Goodrum has become essentially an everyday player and a cog in Detroit's lineup, with a .741 OPS that ranks second on the team to Nicholas Castellanos. He has made a start at every defensive position except center field, catcher and pitcher.

Twins: Jake Cave
The Twins took a chance on Cave in March, acquiring him from the Yankees for Minor League right-hander Luis Gil, and Cave has responded with a strong rookie season. The 25-year-old wasn't expected to play much this season, but with center fielder Byron Buxton out most of the year because of injuries and offensive inconsistency, the left-handed-hitting Cave has filled in nicely. He's capable of playing all three outfield positions and has shown some power offensively, hitting .257/.300/.458 with 11 homers and 13 doubles through his first 82 career games.

White Sox: Daniel Palka
The White Sox picked up the left-handed slugger off waivers from the Twins on Nov. 3, 2017. While he didn't break camp with the team, Palka not only leads the White Sox in home runs, but also set a single-season franchise record for most homers from a left-handed-hitting rookie. Palka has a knack for the big hit, having knocked out six home runs in the ninth inning. Left-handed reliever Jace Fry made a solid late-inning rookie impression, but Palka provided the biggest power boost.

Video: CWS@CLE: Palka breaks scoreless tie with HR to center

AL WEST

Angels: Shohei Ohtani
A rocky Spring Training created some questions about how Ohtani's talent would translate to the Majors, but he quickly erased those doubts once the regular season began. For two months, he dazzled as a two-way phenom for the Angels, emerging as a dominant right-handed pitcher with a triple-digit fastball and devastating splitter and an impact left-handed bat with impressive raw power. An elbow injury derailed his magical season and led to a Tommy John surgery recommendation earlier this month, but it hasn't prevented Ohtani from continuing to hit. He is the first player to log 10 pitching appearances and hit 20 home runs in a season since Babe Ruth in 1919, making him a front-runner for the AL Rookie of the Year Award.

Video: SEA@LAA: Ohtani goes back-to-back with Trout for 20th

Astros: Max Stassi
Stassi made his Major League debut during the Astros' 111-loss season of 2013, and he has bounced between the big leagues and Triple-A each season since while maintaining his rookie status. He's spent most of this year as Houston's backup catcher to Brian McCann, and he is hitting .233 with eight homers and 27 RBIs through 85 games. Stassi was on pace to catch more games than McCann, who missed a chunk of time with knee surgery, and Martin Maldonado, who was acquired in a July trade and cost Stassi significant playing time down the stretch.

Athletics: Lou Trivino
Trivino has been an absolute godsend for what's become a deep and dangerous Oakland bullpen, arriving in late April and quickly taking over setup duties behind All-Star closer Blake Treinen with a high-90s fastball and a mid-90s cutter -- a devastating duo. The flamethrowing right-hander singlehandedly bridged the gap for much of the first half before the midseason arrivals of Jeurys Familia, Shawn Kelley and Fernando Rodney, working multiple innings more times than not. Center fielder Ramon Laureano, who has been superb on both sides of the ball since his August promotion, also deserves consideration.

Mariners: Daniel Vogelbach
The 25-year-old first baseman made the Opening Day roster after a huge spring, then was sent down when he struggled at the plate in April. But after putting up good numbers again in Triple-A, Vogelbach has flashed his power potential with a couple of big home runs this week as a September callup, including a game-winning pinch-hit grand slam to beat the Astros on Monday.

Rangers: Ronald Guzman
This is a tossup between Guzman and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who did a terrific job in a utility role that included time at catcher. But Guzman has emerged as the Rangers' first baseman of the future by showing power, run production and superb defensive ability. There is still more improvement and development needed, but Guzman is among the AL rookie leaders in home runs and RBIs. His emergence also allowed Joey Gallo to take over in left field, which had been a troubled spot for Texas.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Video: STL@ATL: Acuna Jr. belts a solo smash for his 26th HR

Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr.
Acuna has lived up to his top prospect status, as he spent the season's second half producing numbers baseball has seldom seen from a player who has not yet turned 21 years old. He introduced himself to the Majors in April and then suffered a late-May knee injury that sidelined him for a month. But when Acuna was moved to the top of Atlanta's lineup immediately after the All-Star break, the 20-year-old outfielder suddenly became one of the game's top catalysts and power threats. He became a strong NL Rookie of the Year Award candidate and likely earned some down-ballot NL MVP Award consideration.

Marlins: Brian Anderson
Not only has Anderson been the Marlins' top rookie in 2018, he has established himself as one of the young faces of the franchise. He's also built a case to be a top-five finisher in the NL Rookie of the Year Award balloting. On the big league roster from wire to wire, Anderson has played third base and right field. He will lead all NL rookies in games played and hits.

Mets: Jeff McNeil
McNeil was never a top prospect, and when he arrived in the big leagues, he first drew attention for his unusual knobless bat. But since he took over at second base following the Asdrubal Cabrera trade, he's been a revelation at the plate, commanding attention for his outstanding contact ability and all-around hitting prowess. McNeil hasn't slowed down, either -- he leads all rookies in hitting since his July 24 debut, including 17 multihit games in 54 contests, and is second among all players in triples in that span, with five.

Nationals: Juan Soto
Soto wasn't even the Nats' most heralded prospect coming into the year -- that was Victor Robles. But he's hit at an almost unprecedented level for his age, putting himself on lists alongside names like Griffey and Harper. Soto's combination of plate discipline and power marks him as a future star. He's not only a top NL Rookie of the Year Award candidate; he might even get some down-ballot consideration in the crowded NL MVP Award field.

Video: Must C Classic: Soto youngest to swipe 3 bags in game

Phillies: Seranthony Dominguez
One of the reasons the Phillies held first place in the NL East as late as Aug. 12 is Dominguez, who joined Philadelphia's bullpen in May. He posted a 1.85 ERA in 34 appearances through Aug. 3, striking out 49 and walking 13 in 39 innings, becoming manager Gabe Kapler's most trusted weapon with the game on the line. Dominguez struggled down the stretch as the former starter adjusted to a new role, but there is no question NL East batters are not looking forward to facing him in the future.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Freddy Peralta
Taylor Williams pitched in more games and Corbin Burnes is playing the most significant role among Brewers rookies down the stretch, but in terms of aggregate value this season, Peralta gets the nod. By making 14 starts, including a history-making 13-strikeout Major League debut on Mother's Day, Peralta helped hold together a starting rotation that was a quiet strength for much of the year despite Jimmy Nelson's year-long absence and significant disabled list time for Zach Davies, Wade Miley and others. Among Major League starters who pitched at least 70 innings, only Chris Sale had a lower opponents' average than Peralta.

Cardinals: Jack Flaherty
With respect to Harrison Bader (3.5 fWAR), Jordan Hicks (105 mph fastball) and Yairo Munoz (.275 average), it's Flaherty who has emerged as the star of St. Louis' loaded rookie crop -- and the Cardinals' new ace. Premature? Not if you consider how the on-the-playoff-bubble Cards manipulated their rotation so Flaherty will be on turn to start their most important game of the year, whether that's the NL Wild Card Game or a must-win during the season's final series. The 22-year-old has earned the responsibility: He ranks among the NL rookie starter leaders in strikeouts (first), starts (second), innings (second), ERA (fourth), wins (first), fWAR (second) and WHIP (third).

Cubs: David Bote
An 18th-round Draft pick in 2012, Bote was pressed into duty when Kris Bryant was injured and has delivered in the clutch. On July 26 against the D-backs, he smacked a game-tying two-run homer with one out in the ninth. On Aug. 12 against the Nationals, Bote delivered a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam in the ninth. That blast helped teach people how to pronounce his last name (it's bow-tee). He hit another walk-off homer on Aug. 24 against the Reds and is the first Cub since Bryant in 2015 with two walk-off homers in one season. Bote has helped support the Cubs' motto to be versatile, starting at second, third, shortstop and in the outfield.

Video: David Bote's heroics vs. the Nationals this season

Pirates: Richard Rodriguez
Far from a household name, the 28-year-old rookie has become a vital part of Pittsburgh's bullpen in his first extended Major League opportunity. Signed as a Minor League free agent, Rodriguez entered the week with a 2.57 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 63 innings over 56 appearances. Rodriguez doesn't possess overwhelming stuff, but he's getting the job done with a 92.9-mph four-seam fastball he throws about 75 percent of the time plus a swing-and-miss slider.

Reds: Jesse Winker
Winker gets the nod despite having his season cut in half by injury. After a slow start, he found his stroke and some power. Overall, Winker batted .299/.405/.431 in 89 games but was slashing .362/.465/.554 in June and July before his year was halted by right shoulder surgery in his non-throwing arm to repair an injury that nagged him even in the Minors. Expected to be fully recovered by Spring Training, the 25-year-old with great plate discipline could be an even bigger offensive threat when fully healthy.

NL WEST

D-backs: Yoshihisa Hirano
While Hirano is technically a rookie as far as Major League Baseball is concerned, he certainly was not inexperienced coming into this season after spending 11 seasons pitching in Japan. The D-backs signed him to a two-year contract during the offseason, and he has more than met their expectations. Used primarily in a setup role through the first five months of the season, Hirano's effectiveness -- along with his unflappable makeup -- eventually got him moved into the de facto closer's role in September.

Dodgers: Walker Buehler
In any year not involving Acuna or Soto, the Dodgers' 24-year-old sensation would likely have been a favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year Award. Since his April recall from the Minor Leagues, Buehler was a steady presence through Clayton Kershaw's extended absence and has since cemented himself beside Los Angeles' ace at the top of the rotation, allowing two or fewer runs in 17 of his 21 starts. With the Dodgers embroiled in a tight divisional race, he has a 1.62 ERA since the start of August, and with his season mark at 2.74, he could become Los Angeles' first rookie starter to post an ERA under 3.00 with at least 20 starts since Hideo Nomo in 1995.

Video: COL@LAD: Buehler K's career-high 12 over 6 frames

Giants: Dereck Rodriguez
The son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez is steadily establishing his own identity as a ballplayer as well as his candidacy for a respectable finish in the NL Rookie of the Year Award balloting. The 26-year-old, who converted to pitching from playing the outfield, demonstrated his consistency by pitching at least six innings and allowing two or fewer runs in nine consecutive starts. Despite their losing record overall, the Giants are 9-8 when Rodriguez starts. What makes Rodriguez's story even more remarkable is that he did not pitch above Double-A in Minnesota's farm system last year. San Francisco signed him as a Minor League free agent last November.

Padres: Franmil Reyes
Reyes was left unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft last December after leading all Padres Minor Leaguers in home runs in 2017. Thankfully for San Diego, he went unselected. Reyes' power is otherworldly, and he's made huge strides with his approach at the plate. The hulking 6-foot-5, 275-pounder is still a liability defensively. But he's grown into a legit middle-of-the-order game-changer.

Rockies: Ryan McMahon
Drafted as a third baseman but blocked at the hot corner by one Nolan Arenado, the 23-year-old McMahon made the Opening Day roster with eyes on the starting first-base job, but he was beat out by veteran Ian Desmond. After struggles at the plate and two extended Minor League stints, McMahon's .330 on-base percentage since his July 29 recall is fourth among Rockies. He has also shown a penchant for clutch homers -- four of his five 2018 long balls have come late in close games with Colorado trailing, including a memorable three-run walk-off shot against the Dodgers on Aug. 11.

Pitching trio boosted stock in 2018

MLB.com @JonathanMayo

Last week, we took a look at 20 hitting prospects who boosted their stock in 2018. Now it's time to turn attention to the mound.

Most of the 20 pitchers listed below are on our Top 100 Prospects list, though some are on their respective organization's Top 30 only. All of them used very strong 2018 seasons to make large jumps up rankings and more firmly onto the prospect radar.

Last week, we took a look at 20 hitting prospects who boosted their stock in 2018. Now it's time to turn attention to the mound.

Most of the 20 pitchers listed below are on our Top 100 Prospects list, though some are on their respective organization's Top 30 only. All of them used very strong 2018 seasons to make large jumps up rankings and more firmly onto the prospect radar.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Chris Paddack, RHP, Padres' No. 5/MLB No. 48
Paddack missed all of 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery, so it was tough to know what to expect. A 12.0 K/9 and ridiculous 0.8 BB/9 rate (120 K's, 8 walks) went far beyond any projections and allowed him to skyrocket to the middle of the Top 100 and from No. 23 to No. 5 on the Padres' Top 30.

Jesus Luzardo, LHP, A's No. 1/MLB No. 12
To say Tommy John surgery is in Luzardo's rearview mirror is an understatement. He's now the second-best lefty prospect in the game and jumped up from No. 60 on the preseason Top 100 thanks to a season that saw him pitch across three levels and start the Futures Game.

Dane Dunning, RHP, White Sox No. 6/MLB No. 62
An elbow sprain that shut Dunning down in late June puts a damper on his season, but the good news is he didn't need surgery. Before the injury, he pitched his way to Double-A and continued to miss bats (10.4 K/9) and not walk guys (2.7 BB/9) to move up 30 spots in the Top 100.

Video: Top Prospects: Dane Dunning, RHP, White Sox

Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP, Yankees' No. 3/MLB No. 73
The right-hander moved from No. 14 on the Yankees' Top 30 up to No. 3 and jumped firmly onto the Top 100 in a year that saw him start in the Class A Advanced Florida State League and finish in New York, posting a 67/8 K/BB ratio along the way in the Minors.

Touki Toussaint, RHP, Braves' No. 7/MLB No. 74
The questions about Toussaint's ability to start long-term have disappeared after a huge 2018 season that saw him finish tied for eighth in strikeouts in the Minors while considerably cutting his walk rate and making a strong contribution to the playoff-bound big league club.

Brusdar Graterol, RHP, Twins' No. 4/MLB No. 77
Graterol's Tommy John surgery in 2016 is well behind him, and he backed up his stirring 2017 U.S. debut with a year that saw him pitch across two levels of Class A ball before he turned 20. Along the way, he struck out 9.4/9 and walked just 2.5/9 to go from unranked up to No. 77 on the Top 100.

Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers' No. 4/MLB No. 78
May continued his ascent up the Dodgers' ladder, and prospect lists in his second full season of pro ball, going from No. 11 to 4 on the team's Top 30 and jumping to No. 78 from being unranked, while pitching across two levels and reaching Double-A at age 20.

Justus Sheffield, LHP, Yankees' No. 1/MLB No. 27
The Yankees' top prospect began the year No. 48 on the Top 100 and has shot up 21 spots thanks to pitching extremely well across two upper levels (2.48 ERA, .195 BAA, 9.5 K/9) and pitching in the Futures Game. Sheffield capped things off by receiving his first callup in September.

Video: BOS@NYY: Sheffield seals Yankees' win in MLB debut

Griffin Canning, RHP, Angels' No. 3/MLB No. 81
Canning wasn't on the Top 100 to start the season and was at No. 8 on the Angels' list, but now he's at No. 81 and No. 3 in a vastly improved system after he pitched his way to Triple-A in his first full season of pro ball.

Dylan Cease, RHP, White Sox No. 5/MLB No. 44
Cease moved up 17 spots from his preseason ranking on the Top 100, and it's quite possible he's still under-ranked, especially after he was as dominant as any pitcher in the Minors late in the season (0.51 ERA, .107 BAA, 14.8 K/9 in August).

Video: Cease named Pipeline Pitcher of the Year

Adonis Medina, RHP, Phillies' No. 3/MLB No. 69
The right-hander also made a 17-spot jump in the Top 100, shaking off a rough July with a very strong August (2.57 ERA) to help him finish with nifty 9.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 ratios for the season in the Florida State League.

Peter Lambert, RHP, Rockies' No. 2/MLB No. 84
After thriving in hitting environments over his first few seasons, Lambert dominated the Double-A Eastern League to earn a promotion to Triple-A at age 21 and jump firmly onto the Top 100. While he scuffled there, he finished with 11 scoreless innings over his final two starts.

Mike Soroka, RHP, Braves' No. 1/MLB No. 15
Before a shoulder strain effectively ended his season in June, Soroka had taken his stuff and pitchabiltiy and was on his way to cementing himself as a 21-year-old big-league starter. His lack of walks and high ground-ball rate made him very efficient and earned him a jump into the top 20 overall.

Logan Allen, LHP, Padres' No. 8/MLB No. 85
Allen might be the third-best lefty prospect in the Padres' system, but he definitely put himself more on the national prospect radar (unranked to No. 85 overall) thanks to a year that saw him post incredible numbers (2.54 ERA, .205 BAA, 9.1 K/9) in Double- and Triple-A at age 21.

Josh James, RHP, Astros' No. 6
James wasn't ranked on Houston's Top 30 at the start of the season, but now he's in the top 10 and impacting the big league staff thanks to a breakout campaign that saw him pitch across Double- and Triple-A while finishing with a .191 BAA and ending tied for fourth in the Minors with 171 K's.

Video: SEA@HOU: James strikes out 7 in 1st career win

Luis Oviedo, RHP, Indians' No. 10
Oviedo started the year in the short-season New York-Penn League as an unranked prospect, but he pitched his way to full-season ball for the first time before being shut down as a precaution. Along the way, the 19-year old struck out 10.6/9 and posted a 2.05 ERA to go along with a .190 BAA.

Garrett Whitlock, RHP, Yankees' No. 11
As an 18th-rounder from the 2017 Draft, it's not surprising Whitlock was unranked at the start of the season, but when he finished third in the Minors with his 1.86 ERA and had a combined .214 BAA and 9.1 K/9 while touching Double-A, it's no wonder he's now No. 11 on New York's list.

Luis Patino, RHP, Padres' No. 12
Unranked to start the year, this 18-year-old went to full-season ball in May and dominated there (2.16 ERA, .220 BAA, 10.6 K/9) to put a big up arrow next to his name, showing even more dominance in the second half (1.74 ERA, .202 BAA, 11.1 K/9 in 11 starts).

Emilio Vargas, RHP, D-backs' No. 14
A move to the California League can be a kiss of death for pitching prospects, but for Vargas, it helped put him on the map as he finished second in the system in both ERA (2.88) and strikeouts (170) while pitching his way to Double-A and going from unranked to the top 15.

Dean Kremer, RHP, Orioles' No. 16
Unranked this preseason with the Dodgers, Kremer was having a breakout year in the California League and had earned a promotion to Double-A when he was sent to the O's in the Manny Machado deal, then dominated post-trade and finished the year leading the Minors in strikeouts (178).

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Voit's two homers deny Sox chance to clinch

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- This is a different Yankees team than the fatigued group that rolled their bags out of Fenway Park following a fourth straight loss in early August, as the Red Sox have learned through the first 18 innings of their visit. Moving closer to full strength with some fresh faces mixed in, these division rivals would almost certainly make for a compelling postseason series.

Luke Voit homered twice as part of a career-high four-hit performance, supporting Luis Severino's sterling seven-inning outing. The Yankees kept the beer and bubbly shelved in the visiting clubhouse for a second consecutive evening, preventing the Red Sox from celebrating the American League East with a 10-1 rout on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

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NEW YORK -- This is a different Yankees team than the fatigued group that rolled their bags out of Fenway Park following a fourth straight loss in early August, as the Red Sox have learned through the first 18 innings of their visit. Moving closer to full strength with some fresh faces mixed in, these division rivals would almost certainly make for a compelling postseason series.

Luke Voit homered twice as part of a career-high four-hit performance, supporting Luis Severino's sterling seven-inning outing. The Yankees kept the beer and bubbly shelved in the visiting clubhouse for a second consecutive evening, preventing the Red Sox from celebrating the American League East with a 10-1 rout on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

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Video: BOS@NYY: Voit, Boone discuss 10-1 win over Red Sox

"We don't want them to clinch here," Voit said. "They're our rival and we're going to try to do everything we can. We've been cold as a team and we haven't been our New York Yankees. It's huge to get [Aaron] Judge and Didi [Gregorius] back healthy, and Gary [Sanchez] and [Aroldis] Chapman. It's scary how good this team is going to be. We're looking to do some damage in the playoffs."

With 11 games left in the regular season, the Yankees hold a 2 1/2-game lead over the A's for the top AL Wild Card spot.

Video: BOS@NYY: Voit homers twice as Severino deals vs. Sox

Miguel Andujar hit his 25th homer as the Yankees battered familiar opponent David Price and Severino bounced back from an inconsistent second half to compile one of his best starts in weeks. Severino snapped a three-start winless streak, capping his six-hit, six-strikeout effort with a curveball that froze Mookie Betts for a called third strike.

Video: BOS@NYY: Andujar opens scoring with a solo HR in 2nd

"Every time we face the Red Sox, it's a huge series, huge game," Severino said. "I think facing a team like this brings out the best in everybody. My mindset today was to go over there and go after everybody. My last start before this wasn't that bad. I was feeling good, too, so I know I'm getting on track again."

Boston's only run off Severino came on Sandy Leon's fifth-inning single. With the Yankees eyeing a potential AL Wild Card Game, Severino could be bypassed in favor of Masahiro Tanaka or J.A. Happ, both of whom have pitched more consistently of late. But manager Aaron Boone said that the Yanks will need all three to pitch well if they intend to be the last team standing.

Video: BOS@NYY: Severino K's 6 over 7 frames for 18th win

Price has lost all six of his starts at Yankee Stadium since joining the Red Sox, thumped for six runs (four earned) and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Andujar opened the scoring with a second-inning homer and third baseman Eduardo Nunez muffed an Aaron Judge grounder that chased home another two runs.

Video: BOS@NYY: Sanchez, Voit score on Nunez's error in 2nd

The barrel-chested Voit cleared the right-field wall with an opposite-field shot in the fourth, then went deep again to the same area in the sixth for a two-run blast, charging around the basepaths with his top jersey button undone as Price was dispatched to the showers. Price has allowed 33 runs in 30 1/3 innings (9.79 ERA) when pitching for Boston in the Bronx.

Voit bench presses 135 pounds with one arm

Video: Luke Voit joins MLB Tonight to discuss his 4-hit game

"We wanted to take it to these guys," Voit said. "Obviously probably down the line in the playoffs we're going to face them again. We want to get hot at the right time going into those games and it's nice to have a big night. We have to get this offense rolling. It's been dragging the last couple of weeks. That was a big game for us."

Chapman reinstated from disabled list

Video: BOS@NYY: Hicks plates 2 with a triple in the 6th

Aaron Hicks added a two-run triple off Joe Kelly, part of a three-RBI performance. Justus Sheffield, the Yankees' top-rated prospect according to MLB Pipeline, recorded the final three outs in his Major League debut. Sheffield loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before getting Betts to ground into a game-ending double play.

Video: BOS@NYY: Sheffield gets game-ending DP in MLB debut

"I was trying to breathe as much as I could, trying to settle down," Sheffield said. "Didi was out there and telling me to slow down and breathe. That's what I just kept doing. I knew that sooner or later if I kept doing that, I was going to make the right pitch."

Judge photobombs pregame dugout report

SOUND SMART
Voit's second homer gave the Yankees a Major League-leading 245 blasts for the season, equaling a franchise record set by the 2012 squad. With nine homers since joining the Yanks, Voit is one deep drive shy of becoming the 12th player on the roster with a double-digit home run total, which would set a Major League record.

Video: BOS@NYY: Voit belts 2nd HR for Yanks' 245th of 2018

"We have gotten it from a lot of different people," Boone said. "Obviously we've needed that. With Miggy kind of kicking in the door and taking that job early in the season and running with it, the role he's played. And then Voit; if you would've said a couple months ago that he'd be playing this kind of role and hitting for this kind of power with us, I don't think anyone saw it coming."

HE SAID IT
"My legs felt like Jell-O. The first thing I was thinking is, 'Don't trip on the mound. Just don't trip.'" -- Sheffield

Video: BOS@NYY: Sheffield learns of callup, makes MLB debut

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
After Voit had rounded the bases for his sixth-inning home run, the umpires called for a review to see if a fan in the front row had interfered with the ball. The call on the field was confirmed, with the flight of the ball appearing to carry into the seating area. Neither of Voit's home runs were Statcast™ darlings -- the second came off his bat at 94.1 mph and traveled 343 feet -- but he and the Yankees certainly aren't complaining.

Video: BOS@NYY: Voit rips 2nd HR as call confirmed in 6th

"Tonight it was a little windier, so you didn't know," Voit said. "I thought I got that last one more than I did and it barely went out. Luckily it went over. You watch every guy hit a ball to right field, they're always looking at the outfielder and judging it. There's definitely cheap home runs, but you've got to take advantage of it."

UP NEXT
The Yankees will try to prevent the Red Sox from celebrating the AL East title for a third consecutive evening on Thursday as the rivals meet at 7:05 p.m. ET in an MLB Network Showcase Game. Tanaka (12-5, 3.47 ERA) will start for New York, having allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his past 11 starts, posting a 2.15 ERA over that span. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (12-4, 3.53 ERA) has the ball for Boston.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar, Luis Severino, Luke Voit

Andujar fifth Yanks rookie with 25 homers

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

NEW YORK -- The Yankees tied team history in Wednesday's 10-1 win over the Red Sox, their trio of home runs pushing their season total to 245. That matches the single-season franchise mark, set in 2012.

It is a collective effort that comes with some individual milestones caked in as well, specifically for rookie Miguel Andujar. In drilling the first of New York's three homers on the night, a solo shot off losing pitcher David Price, Andujar put himself in some pretty impressive company with his 25th homer.

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NEW YORK -- The Yankees tied team history in Wednesday's 10-1 win over the Red Sox, their trio of home runs pushing their season total to 245. That matches the single-season franchise mark, set in 2012.

It is a collective effort that comes with some individual milestones caked in as well, specifically for rookie Miguel Andujar. In drilling the first of New York's three homers on the night, a solo shot off losing pitcher David Price, Andujar put himself in some pretty impressive company with his 25th homer.

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Video: BOS@NYY: Voit belts 2nd HR for Yanks' 245th of 2018

Andujar is just the fifth rookie in Yankees history to reach the 25-homer plateau, joining Aaron Judge (2017), Bobby Murcer (1969), Joe Gordon ('38) and Joe DiMaggio ('36). Only Gordon and Andujar did so as infielders, which should only strengthen Andujar's candidacy for the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

With less than two weeks to go in the regular season, Andujar ranks first among AL rookies in hits (158) and RBIs (84), tied for first in homers (25) and hitting (.298), and second in slugging (.516).

Though he's not known for his glove, Andujar also added an over-the-shoulder catch to rob Xander Bogaerts in the sixth.

Video: BOS@NYY: Andujar races, avoids collision for grab

"What more can you say?" Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "He's been such a great player for us. To see him continue to do it, to see him do it right now when we need it. We've seen him get so many big hits in situations [like] tonight. The homer to get us going and then the offense kind of picked it up from there."

To send his opposite-field homer over the right-field wall in the second, Andujar went up and out of the strike zone to tomahawk a 92.9-mph fastball. It landed a few rows beyond the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium -- the first of three homers the Yanks would send that way Wednesday. Luke Voit followed with two opposite-field blasts, a solo shot in the fourth and a two-run blast in the sixth. The homers accounted for all the Yankees' runs off Price, who lost for the sixth time in six starts at Yankee Stadium as a member of the Red Sox.

Video: Must C Combo: Voit gets jacked, then hits two jacks

The Yankees then tacked on four runs against Boston's bullpen to stave off elimination in the AL East for another day. The Red Sox arrived in the Bronx this week needing just one win to wrap up the division. Two games in, their champagne remains on ice.

"We have gotten it from a lot of different people," Boone said. "Obviously we've needed that. With Miggy kind of kicking in the door and taking that job early in the season and running with it, the role he's played. And then Voit; if you would've said a couple months ago that he'd be playing this kind of role and hitting for this kind of power with us, I don't think anyone saw it coming."

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Judge, Eduardo Nunez

Sheffield pitches scoreless ninth in MLB debut

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

NEW YORK -- Justus Sheffield was so nervous when he climbed the Yankee Stadium mound in the ninth inning for the first time in the Yankees' 10-1 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday night that he thought he'd trip over it. Once he didn't, still shaking, he thought he would balk. Such are the jitters that come gift-wrapped with Major League debuts, especially ones as highly-anticipated as Sheffield's.

"My legs felt like Jell-O," said Sheffield. "As soon as I got on the mound, I thought it would settle down a bit, but the nerves and the adrenaline, my heart was pumping quite a bit."

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NEW YORK -- Justus Sheffield was so nervous when he climbed the Yankee Stadium mound in the ninth inning for the first time in the Yankees' 10-1 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday night that he thought he'd trip over it. Once he didn't, still shaking, he thought he would balk. Such are the jitters that come gift-wrapped with Major League debuts, especially ones as highly-anticipated as Sheffield's.

"My legs felt like Jell-O," said Sheffield. "As soon as I got on the mound, I thought it would settle down a bit, but the nerves and the adrenaline, my heart was pumping quite a bit."

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It only slowed after Sheffield had escaped a sticky situation of his own creation to notch a scoreless first inning in pinstripes. To do so, Sheffield had to coax a bases-loaded double play out of Mookie Betts to end the game.

Video: BOS@NYY: Sheffield on scoreless frame in MLB debut

With the win, New York staved off elimination in the American League East for another night. The Yankees also got their first glimpse of Sheffield, the club's No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline. The left-hander allowed two hits and walked a batter.

"I honestly can't even describe it," Sheffield said. "There were so many emotions going through my head. A lot of excitement. A lot of nerves. The fans were awesome. I even heard my name. That's how you know I wasn't really locked in, but it was a great experience."

The debut came in front of nine family members and friends, including his grandparents and brothers. Sheffield also found it notable how he had to face Betts, with whom he has a brief history, to complete it. Both Sheffield and Betts, the AL MVP frontrunner, back in the Red Sox lineup after a two-day absence due to a minor left side injury, are from Tennessee. They'd crossed paths previously while working out in the offseason at Vanderbilt University, where Sheffield was drafted out of two Junes ago. Betts acknowledged Sheffield with a head nod before stepping in, then yanked his fifth pitch just beyond the left-field foul pole.

Video: BOS@NYY: Sheffield learns of callup, makes MLB debut

"Thankfully he hooked it a little bit," Sheffield said. "If he'd have hit a homer off me, I wouldn't have been too happy."

Betts rolled over Sheffield's next pitch, a 3-2 fastball, and the left-hander escaped. The question now is: Where does he fit going forward? Sheffield is expected to compete for a rotation spot next spring, but any appearance he makes down the stretch could realistically be considered an audition for a possible postseason role out of the bullpen. The parallels, in particular, to Boston starter David Price, who took the loss Wednesday, are plain to see. Price was 22 years old and one year removed from college when he debuted for the Rays in September 2008. He went on to play a pivotal role as a reliever that postseason, helping Tampa Bay reached its first and only World Series, before becoming a star as a starter.

The Yankees' need for relief help is less drastic than the Rays' was a decade ago, especially after Aroldis Chapman returned from the disabled list Wednesday. Dellin Betances, Zach Britton, David Robertson, all former closers, remain rooted in high-leverage roles. But perhaps Sheffield can prove to be a weapon in the middle innings.

He'll likely get a chance to earn such a role in the weeks to come.

"I just want to go out there and get outs," Sheffield said. "I said from the start I'm not here to hang around. I'm here to get outs and do my job."

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

New York Yankees, Justus Sheffield

Judge perfectly photobombs reporter's segment