Through five weeks of action, the former Oregon Duck has dominated, allowing just eight hits and one earned run in 12 1/3 innings of work. Most importantly, the max-effort righty has walked just one batter in his 11 appearances while striking out 15 – a big turnaround from a 2016 campaign that saw him average 3.9 BB/9. The command is still fringy, with Sherfy frequently missing his spots within the zone, but thus far in 2017 he has managed to keep a better handle on his delivery and has worked with a more consistent and balanced tempo, helping him to hit his release point and execute more effectively.
Sherfy earned his first two saves of the season in back-to-back appearances this past week, working 2 1/3 scoreless innings and allowing one hit (an infield single) and no walks while striking out four. He mowed through eight hitters in just 24 pitches, 19 of them for strikes, and just one of the four balls in play made it into the air. With his mid-90s fastball working effectively to both sides of the plate, Sherfy was able to fully leverage his mid- to upper-80s power slider as a freeze pitch both early and late in the count, regularly buckling knees.
Despite the vestiges of more erratic and unwieldy times still observable on occasion, Sherfy’s ability to better work in rhythm and limit the extent to which he overthrows, or speeds through his mechanics – has been a welcome sight. If he can continue to build upon his progress – keeping his arm on time, more regularly working ahead in the count, and limiting the number of sliders he hangs up in the zone – there’s a clear path for him to emerge as a quality contributor in the Arizona bullpen at some point this summer.