New York Yankees starting pitcher Chance Adams (83) throws a pitch during a rain shortened MLB spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
By BRENDAN KUTY
“It’s always been there,” Adams said Thursday. “It’s just, whenever they want to call me up. It’s not really under my control. When they feel I’m ready, they’ll call me up and I’ll do the best I can to help the team win.”
Adams, ranked the Yankees’ No. 7 overall prospect by MLB.com, has made quite the case.
The 23-year-old is 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA through his first five starts at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The top pitching prospect forced his promotion to the level by dominating Double-A Trenton for the second straight season.
He churned out his worst statistical outing in his most recent appearance. He cruised through five innings before running into trouble in the sixth. A three-run home run erased his scoreless evening and a chance at a win.
“Just kind of made a mistake. He made me pay for it. That’s what you get at this level,” Adams said.
While the Yankees don’t currently have a spot in the rotation for the right-hander, one could pop up at any moment.
Example: The Yankees are debating pushing Masahiro Tanaka back a day from Sunday to Monday. Adams would seem like a longshot option considering several factors, but he’s knocking on the door.
One of the reasons he’s close? Improved fastball command. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said it’s one of the biggest differences he’s seen in Adams since Adams’ first major-league spring training months ago.
“I don’t think it’s too bad,” Adams said. “I can’t get it 100 percent of the time but I definitely feel like I’ve hit my fastball spots most of the time.”
But there are things working against him. He’s not on the Yankees’ full 40-man roster, which means they would have to dump someone to add him. The Yankees also have several other starting candidates on the 40-man, such as Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell, Luis Cessa and Domingo German.
Adams added that he’s been working on his changeup.
As for his Triple-A experience so far, Adams said, “It’s been fine. Just been another level. Doing all right. Could have been better.”