Yankees Fans: Are These Pitchers Best Suited for the Rotation or the Pen?
Mitchell appeared to be on the verge of a breakout campaign before a fractured toe during his last Grapefruit League outing ended his 2016 season before it could begin. He had been dominant during the spring, allowing just one run while striking out 12 and walking three over his 15.2 innings of work in March.
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Unfortunately the injury he suffered would keep him from donning the pinstripes until the last month of the season, when he was pressed into duty ahead of schedule by the club’s lack of viable starting pitching options.
While he understandably showed signs of rust after missing the first five months of the MLB season, Mitchell acquitted himself well over his five September starts pitching to a 3.24 ERA and 4.23 FIP in 25 IP.
His control was kind of a mess, and he walked more batters than he struck out, but if you squinted, you could see signs of the guy who made a strong push to win the Yankees fifth starter job way back in the spring.
Mitchell has two excellent pitches in his fastball and hammer curve, and then two kind of meh offerings in his cutter and change. If he can develop a third and/or fourth MLB quality pitch and continue to make progress with his erratic control, he could turn into a useful mid-rotation arm over the next year or two.
Probably the more likely outcome is that he ends up moving back to short relief. His lack of innings last year and the number of other candidates probably means he ends up alongside Adam Warren in the big league pen.
Next: Predicting the Yankees Next Core Four
To sum up, I think Cessa and Severino end up with the two starting jobs out of camp, Warren and Mitchell are used as relievers, and Green gets sent back to the minors to serve as rotation depth.