Bryan Mitchell has emerged big-time for the New York Yankees and he’s ready to be better than Adam Warren.
Then Warren became the stud middle reliever and Mitchell was an afterthought. However, in his own way, Mitchell has become just what the bullpen has always needed: another Adam Warren-esque pitcher. Except he has the upside of potentially being better.
Since Warren’s return from his short-term loan to the Chicago Cubs, he has excelled in every appearance. He has become the dominant force in the middle of the game, something that they severely lacked last season.
Warren is their go-to guy for the in-between innings, the ones where starters give up and closers aren’t ready. While he is the primary reliever, Mitchell just might be taking over that role soon enough.
Mitchell has a rough go with injuries the past few seasons but now he is back and healthy as ever. In 8.2 innings pitched this season, he has allowed one run while striking out five. His 1.04 ERA in the ‘pen has served the Yankees well, as they are 6-2 when he comes into pitch.
On Sunday, Mitchell put himself in a bases-loaded jam only to work his way out of it in true Mariano Rivera fashion. He showed composure in one of the most difficult situations on the field. And that composure, coupled with his talent, makes him a threat on the mound.
Just like Warren is right now.
Warren has had the stellar numbers so far this season. He boasts a 0.84 ERA and has served as a top-tier reliever for Joe Girardi to call on. However, he wasn’t always like that.
Warren is 29 and has had years of experience on the mound against this level of competition. Mitchell is 26 and has only pitched in 20 games one time in his career. He has time to develop.
Even better, with the way he’s performing now, the limit to how good he could be is endless. It took Warren some time to get to this position. Mitchell has the raw talent that will make him even better than Warren with more experience.
Mitchell, the homegrown talent, has loaded his pitch arsenal in the past few years. He relies heavily on his fastball, which averages at 96.5 mph, according to Fangraphs. His second-most popular pitch is his devastating curveball, followed closely by his 90 mph cutter.
Mitchell has all the tools to be that top reliever already and still has room to improve. The Yankees were patient with Warren and it paid off in dividends for this current Yankees team. Imagine what another year or two will do for Mitchell.
Watching Mitchell develop so far has been a treat and refreshing for a team that couldn’t seem to hold down the middle of the game. With Warren excelling, Mitchell has that time to continuously develop under a veteran in that role.
We’ve seen Warren struggle and then succeed. We’ve watching Mitchell make his way through the minor league ranks to the big stage. Both have given the Yankees something to cheer about so far this season.
As great as Warren has been, Mitchell has been right on his heels. And the more opportunities he gets, the better he will become. Soon enough, Mitchell will become the new Warren…and might be even more impressive.