Panama trip giving some fresh faces a shot in Tampa

03/14/2014 3:41 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Third baseman Rob Segedin gets an at-bat against the Phillies on Thursday.(AP)
Every once in a while, usually on split-squad or road days, teams will bring a few players over from minor-league camp to flesh out the roster.

With 28 Yankees players in Panama for the Legend Series, this weekend is an extreme case of that reinforcement; Friday's game with the Twins saw 11 players brought over from the complex, and Saturday's travel list for the road game in Sarasota has 16 non-roster additions headed south.

Any opportunity those players get is almost always emergency duty at worst and late-inning, likely low-leverage situations at best, but still, it's a chance

"It's really exciting when we find out we're getting the chance to come across the street for the day, or for a couple of days," third baseman Rob Segedin, who is on the roster for both Friday and Saturday, said. "You could get one opportunity to show coaches, scouts, and everyone what you can do as a player, so it's definitely a plus."

For a guy like Segedin, that might finally be the breakthrough he needs. Now 25, the Old Tappan, N.J. native is in his fifth year in the system after being a third-round pick in 2010, but he played just 18 games in 2013 before hip surgery cost him the rest of the season.

That lost year of development might push those getting a small shot to try to outdo themselves, but Segedin for one knows that's just not wise.

"Obviously you want people to know who you are, but you have to focus on playing your game, staying inside yourself and doing what you're capable of doing," he said. "Hopefully, the results will be there."

That said, another call-up, LHP James Pazos, drew a comparison to one of New York's most famous "out of nowhere" stories to de

"I was actually talking to my trainer about the Jeremy Lin story, about how he was tearing up the D-League and then got a shot with the Knicks," Pazos said. "Any opportunity is always a great opportunity for us; it's always great to come up and show what we can do."

Pazos got one of those opportunities in the Arizona Fall League last year, getting to work with some upper-level Yankees prospects and face hitters from all levels. In that experience, he noted that while one or two players coming over could feel a little overwhelmed when walking into a clubhouse with the Derek Jeters and CC Sabathias of the world, coming with a big batch of reinforcements just makes things that much more comfortable.

"The guys that I played with in the Fall league - Vidal Nuno, Mason Williams, Fred Lewis and Tyler Austin - have been here all spring," Pazos said, "so you already know some of those guys, and then with the other guys that have come over, it's a definitely a little easier transition."

Segedin, who was also part of Thursday's split squad that went to Clearwater

"Yesterday, when all the subs went in, it was basically all minor-leaguers, so it was a team full of guys we've been playing with across the street," he said. "Mason (Williams) wasn't, but we've been playing with him for years anyway. It definitely helps, and it's kind of fun to be playing with familiar guys."

As Pazos alluded to with Lin, no one ever knows what could happen given one shot. Segedin, who was expected to just be a reserve Friday, ended up starting when Russ Canzler was scratched with hip tightness, and while going 0-for-2 with an error at third base may not have been his ideal day, who knows what the next chance will bring.

Maybe it's a success, and maybe it leads to a more prominent role somewhere in the organization, which then maybe leads to the ultimate dream: a ring. Segedin got one for being part of the Thunder last season, and although he missed the ceremony on Thursday because he was in Clearwater, the moment he gets his will be one he remembers forever.

"I haven't picked it up…everyone's saying it's almost too big, but that's cool," he laughed. "For me it's the first ring, and people in the organization have said it's the best they've seen so far. It's certainly mine."

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