Sherfy seeks return to major leagues
Special to The R-C
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — One of last year’s top relief pitchers in Triple-A baseball may have to wait longer before he becomes a permanent member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Jimmie Sherfy had a stellar season for the Reno Aces in 2017, finishing the year with a 2-1 record and 20 saves. Arizona called the 26-year-old Sherfy up in September where he pitched 11 innings and had a 2-0 record. Before his call-up, Sherfy earned a spot in Reno’s record book. He became the Aces’ all-time saves leader with 32.
Midway through this year’s spring training, Sherfy felt good about his prospects of remaining with the D-backs, but stiffness in his shoulder and a shaky outing resulted in Arizona sending him back to Reno to work out the kinks. Prior to being assigned to the Aces, Sherfy said he felt great and is working hard to see action with Arizona again this season.
“I’m trying to take one day at a time and to get better each day,” he said. “I’m just attacking the zone and not shying away. I need to eliminate mistakes that have hurt me in the past.”
Sherfy first experienced Triple-A ball in 2016 after spending part of the season at Single-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile. He appeared in 24 games for Reno and had 12 saves, but the 6-foot, 175-pound right-hander finished the season with a 1-4 record.
During the 2017 season and at this year’s spring training at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Sherfy credits Aces’ pitching coach Gil Heredia with helping him on the mound.
“Gil has helped me with my routine,” Sherfy noted. “Sticking to a routine will be my best chance for success.”
Sherfy said when his fastball and slider work, it’s a good outing for him.
“If not, I’ll find a way,” he added.
Sherfy said Heredia, a former major league pitcher, allows him and the other young hurlers to “do their own thing but helps us with his own expertise.” He credits Heredia with him having a good season in 2017, a far cry when the Camarillo, Calif., native struggled three seasons ago.
“Back in 2015 was really a bad year,” he said. “I didn’t have a routine. I had to come to spring training in 2016 and try to reinvent myself and switch up my mechanics. I had to eliminate a lot of mistakes.”
Another key to Sherfy’s success in 2017 is how the Reno pitchers work together.
“I adjusted my routine to picking and choosing and seeing what works from one guy,” he said. “We all learn from each other.”
Heredia expects good things from Sherfy.
“He has a good, live arm for a little body,” Heredia explained. “He’s had a setback this spring with his shoulder tightening, but he’ll get back to where he was pitching. He’s focused on his mechanics.”
Sherfy recorded 40 saves at the University of Oregon before he was selected by Arizona in the 10th round (300th overall) of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft. Now, it’s only a matter of time before he receives the call again from the D-backs.
“He showed himself in the major leagues,” Heredia said.