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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-35, Jimmie Sherfy

Time to look at one of our potential future closers.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks-Media Day Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 35: Jimmie Sherfy

  • Date of birth: December 27, 1991
  • Ht/Wt: 6’0”, 175 lbs
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Status: 40-man roster
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • 2016 MLB numbers: N/A
  • SnakePit Rating: 4.21 [pattern of votes below]

Sherfy’s 2016 was very much a season of two halves. The 24-year-old started the year in High-A Visalia and was virtually hittable. He was certainly unscoreable upon, and after 12.1 scoreless innings, resulting in 21 strikeouts, he was sent on the bus to Double-A Mobile, the cheers of High-A hitters ringing in his ears. Things hardly proved any more problematic with the BayBears. He did allow a run in his second game, but this was followed by a streak of 14 scoreless appearances, covering 17.2 innings, this time with 27 strikeouts. Through the end of June, this was his combined line across the two levels, where opposing batters had hit .106 (not a typo) against the reliever:
Jimmie Sherfy: 32.0 IP, 11 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 11 BB, 52 SO, 1 HR, 0.28 ERA

A promotion to Reno followed, and his work as closer there started well too. 11 games into his time with the Aces, he had thrown 11.2 innings and allowed one earned run. But when the calendar turned to August, the wheels abruptly fell off the Sherfymobile. From Aug 1 through the end of the season, this was his line:
Jimmie Sherfy: 11.2 IP, 16 H, 15 R, 15 ER, 7 BB, 14 SO, 4 HR, 11.57 ERA
It was almost a return to his college days as an Oregon Duck, where he earned the nickname Wild Thing because of “his long blond hair, his animated demeanor, his follow-throughs on pitches.” I’m not sure whether he just ran out of gas, the PCL environment messed with his approach or if AAA hitters adapted to Sherfy.

If he had continued the same domination showed through the end of July, Jimmie would likely have been a top candidate for a bullpen spot as soon as Opening Day - not bad for a guy who, as noted, was in High-A at that point in 2016. But the roadbump which was the final month certainly cooled Sherfy’s previously inexorable momentum. The good news is, he still was missing a lot of bats, and the bad streak was partly the result of a .414 BABIP, so seems the balls in play which were outs, suddenly started dropping in for hits. But it wouldn’t surprise me if the team wants to be sure this was indeed an aberration and starts him in Reno - albeit, perhaps with his suitcase packed.

Here’s an interview he did earlier this month at Salt River.

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