Bryan Mitchell may have impressed on Friday for the New York Yankees, but will he get a fair shot at the starting rotation?
THE YANKEES WIN!
Whether you love or hate John Sterling, you know those are the words that cannot be simply spoken. And with spring training kicking off on Friday afternoon for the New York Yankees, we heard it for the first of hopefully many more times.
The main story from this contest against the Philadelphia Phillies was the parade of home runs from Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka. However, the more impressive feat might have been Bryan Mitchell‘s performance on the mound.
While he only pitched two innings, Mitchell retired every batter he faced and didn’t allow a run, let alone a runner. Mitchell’s fastball touched 95 mph.
In short, he looked like a regular starter out there on the mound. But with the competition brewing over the final two spots, will Mitchell even get a fair shot at making the rotation?
Sadly, he probably won’t, and here is why.
Mitchell had a strong spring training last season but succumbed to injury before he got his shot at glory for the Yankees. The broken toe kept Mitchell out until September, where he pitched in five starts and compiled a 1-2 record.
Mitchell’s main competitors are Luis Severino, Luis Cessa, Adam Warren and Chad Green for the final two slots and it already seems like the Yankees have their favorites. Severino, who has boasted stellar numbers from out of the ‘pen, still remains at the top of their list.
Despite Severino’s horrific performance as a starter, he will be given a second shot to prove himself. The other favorite is Cessa, another young gun who has some great experience in the major leagues. Warren fell into a long-relief role last season, which worked out favorably for the Yankees. Green served as an emergency starter for the Yankees when a regular starter went down.
They say there’s competition but the truth of the matter is, there is none. It’s already all been decided. Now the Yankees are just stringing other pitchers along.
While Severino had a horrific 2016, the Yankees still believe that they can salvage his talents and save him from the bullpen. Brian Cashman seems dead set on keeping Severino in the rotation and we all know how convincing the front office can be.
Cessa is another hot choice, at 24 years old. He may not have been stellar by any means, giving up 16 home runs and compiling a 4.35 ERA, but they are adamant about his struggles being growing pains.
While Mitchell is only 25, he also has struggled with injuries. His broken toe, as mentioned before, kept him out for months, but he also suffered a nasal fracture in 2015. That’s two seasons in a row with two different injuries.
Mitchell was given two chances and now is looking for a third chance to make the rotation. The Yankees are keen fans on second chances, but we’re unsure about their stance on third chances.
Of course, the Yankees will not give up on the two prospects who they’ve raved out in their minor league system for a while. If they do, they are only proving that they brought these players up before they were fully ready.
Mitchell had his best shot last season but his unfortunate injury threw him off. If he performs just as well or even better this spring training, he would deserve a shot at the rotation.
However, if we know the Yankees, we know that likely won’t happen. Maybe in the middle of the season he’ll emerge as a quality starter but that’s likely the only chance he’ll get.
Mitchell will have to work his tail off to get recognition from the Yankees, which is completely unfair. If Friday was any indication, Mitchell could be a top-tier starter for the Yankees.
If the Yankees don’t give him that shot, chances are he’ll become an ace somewhere else pretty soon because that’s what he deserves.