FORT MYERS, Fla. — One of the reasons Joe Girardi made the trip to see the Yankees face the Red Sox on Tuesday was to check in on Luis Cessa, who is competing to make this year’s rotation.
But there were other arms for the manager to keep an eye on, as well.
Both Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield made their major league spring training debuts and survived in a 5-4 win at JetBlue Park.
Adams, who surprised even the Yankees with his development a year ago from a former fifth-round pick in 2015 whom they had targeted for the bullpen and is now a potential starter, threw scoreless innings.
He was followed by Sheffield, one of the key pieces the Yankees received from Cleveland in the Andrew Miller trade.
Sheffield was tossed immediately into the fire, facing Hanley Ramirez to start the sixth. He got the slugger to ground out to first before surrendering a homer to the next hitter, Sam Travis.
“They were good,” Girardi said. “It’s tough the first time you go out there, and I thought they did a good job. I was impressed. It’s not easy.”
The 22-year-old Adams said he worked on his changeup and had some success with it, while Sheffield, just 20, admitted to being “a little amped up” initially, but was still able to retire Ramirez on a grounder to shortstop Gleyber Torres.
“I tried to stay clear-minded out there and treat it like any other game,” Sheffield said.
For someone who hasn’t pitched above Double-A though, the presence of Ramirez in the box must have had some impact.
“It kind of went through my head at first,” Sheffield said. “But once I stepped on the rubber, it’s go time. You can’t really be wowed by who’s at the plate. You’ve still got to get them out.”
Sheffield gave up just the one run in 1 ²/₃ innings.
It was the first time Girardi had seen either pitch in game action — other than on video.
Sheffield, though, had other concerns.
“If he’s impressed, he’s impressed,” the left-hander said. “I just need to get outs and improve.”
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