NEW YORK -- Mike Shawaryn grew up in Camden County, New Jersey, about 100 miles from Yankee Stadium. He was a Phillies fan -- that part of Jersey is basically southeastern Pennsylvania -- but the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry was impossible to ignore, even for a kid who grew up rooting on Jimmy Rollins and Co.
So, imagine Shawaryn's shock when he got the call on Wednesday night that he'd be joining the Red Sox in New York for a four-game series with the Bombers. Before Thursday's opener was rained out, the right-hander reflected on a whirlwind 18 hours.
"It was pretty special," he said. "I had to take a deep breath just to let it sink it. It's a dream come true. So I had to take a deep breath and let it sink it."
The 24-year-old right-hander went 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA in 10 starts with Triple-A Pawtucket, where he limited opponents to a .230 batting average. Shawaryn could start next week in Kansas City, or he could pitch in long relief. Thursday's rainout, as well as an off day on Monday, gives manager Alex Cora options. He expects to make a firmer decision on Saturday.
In the meantime, the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder (he looks a lot bigger, for what it's worth), will try to adjust to his surroundings.
"It's pretty cool," he said. "I remember as a kid watching [Red Sox-Yankees] on TV. So many awesome games and the rivalry is amazing, so to be able to be a part of it, and hopefully help the team win, is always important."
Shawaryn isn't overpowering, but he commands a low-90s fastball and relies heavily on a slider with multiple shapes. The Red Sox selected him in the fifth round of the 2016 draft out of the University of Maryland and he has yet to post an ERA higher than 3.88 at any level.
His first phone call after getting promoted was to his girlfriend, whom he wanted to make sure had enough time to leave work. His second call went to his parents.
"It's kind of been a blur," he said. "Going from it's a dream come true to when you get that phone call to having to figure out travel to get here and getting all the travel and everything. It's a whirlwind, but it's definitely not a bad whirlwind.
"It's pretty cool. I'm thankful it happened to be on the East Coast and not too far from my family and friends. I'm sure they will be making a trek up here at some point during the weekend."
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