#Yankees Pitcher Makes Debut
A Dream Achieved: the Major League Debut of James Pazos of the Yankees
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK (SPORTS)- The dream of every professional athlete is to reach the highest level of his/her sport. For a baseball player, the dream is to play in the major leagues. A 24-year-old pitcher for the Yankees, James Pazos, achieved that dream on Saturday.
Pazos was summoned from the bullpen in the ninth inning to pitch in a tight contest with the Tampa Bay Rays in front of 35,030 at Yankee Stadium. After the game, he told reporters, “The phone rang several times. Each time my heart sank and I lost breath. I was just excited to get into the game.”
The first batter he faced, pinch hitter Joey Butler, flied to center. Then Daniel Nava struck out looking.
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi then came to the mound to remove the rookie, who received a nice ovation from the fans. Pazos later remarked, “I didn’t expect anything like that.”
His first major league experience emotionally impacted him, “I’ve never seen the stadium before. It’s just an incredible day. I dreamt about it a long time. It’s always good when it goes well.” Girardi commented on the youngster’s performance, “He did a good job. He got his two outs.”
Pazos was originally drafted as a teenager in the 40th round of the MLB First Year Player Draft by his home state Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009, but he did not sign. After his junior year at the University of San Diego in 2012, he was drafted in the 13th round by the Yankees.
The 6-3 left-hander began in professional career in New York City with the Staten Island Yanks that same year. In 28 relief appearances, he compiled an impressive ERA of 1.78.
He has pitched well in the Yankees farm system until being called up on September 1. He was a part of the team early in the 2015 Spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Regardless of what transpires for good or ill in the future, Pazos will retain the memories for his first major league experience at Yankee Stadium for many years to come.