Entering his fourth year in the show, Yankees’ right-hander Bryan Mitchell is determined to earn his way into to New York’s rotation.There’s no denying it. The New York Yankees‘ rotation is in serious question as spring training is approximately seven weeks away.
Behind Masahiro Tanaka, who maintained the third-best ERA in the American League, there are serious question marks behind him which include 36-year old CC Sabathia and the enigma himself, Michael Pineda.
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The latter is determined to make sure his name is on the five-man rotation when the Opening Day roster is announced.
Mitchell conducted a phone interview on YES Network’s “Yankees’ Hot Stove” show Monday night and considers himself to be a starter and make a serious impact on a rotation that contains depth, but not solidity.
After going 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA in Spring Training last year, Mitchell went down with a broken toe on March 30 which resulted in him tossing just 46 total innings between the minors and majors in 2016.
Making his regular-season debut on September 7 against the Toronto Blue Jays, the 25-year old finished with a 3.24 ERA in five starts at the end of the year.
That stretch included a start in which he hurled seven innings of two-hit, no-run ball against the AL East-winning Boston Red Sox and entering 2017, he’ll have a chance to permanently earn that spot.
“I don’t really assess the chances too much,” Mitchell said on the show. “We [the starters competing for spotts] are all good friends and everyone is a really good pitcher so I think it’s going to be fun going into spring training to see how all of us compete.”
It’s presumable that, whoever loses out on a starting rotation nod, will be sent to the much-improved bullpen but Micthell, who owns a career 5.10 ERA as a reliever, is striving to earn the place which, he feels, he fits best.
“I’ve always envisioned myself as a starter,” he said. “I’m training to be a starter that’s how I came up and that’s how I train in the offseason so I envision myself as a starter.”
Pitchers and catchers report to George M. Steinbrenner field on February 13 where Mitchell, along with the other half-dozen contestants, will begin their quest to bring balance to what’s the most turbulent aspect of the 2017 Yankees.