Just hours before his scheduled start for the Trenton Thunder on Saturday, right-handed pitcher Bryan Mitchell was scratched in favor of reliever Charley Short. The explanation from Thunder manager Tony Franklin that the team was attempting to give him an extra day off early in the season seemed a bit odd at the time, considering Mitchell’s scheduled start backed up to an off-day, and Jeremy Bleich was still listed to start on Monday.
Hours later, the real reason why Mitchell was scratched has been revealed, as former Thunder beat writer Josh Norris reported late Saturday night that Mitchell will be one of at least two call-ups made by the New York Yankees on Sunday after they were blown out by the Tampa Bay Rays 14-1 in Tampa on Saturday night.
A 23-year-old with one of the best breaking balls in the New York Yankees farm system, Mitchell was ranked as the 21st best prospect by Baseball America before the season. After struggling in his first two starts, Mitchell turned in his most dominant performance in Double-A, striking out 12 batters over six innings against Akron on Monday. Overall, Mitchell is 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA in three starts for the Thunder this season.
Mitchell’s role is currently undefined, though it is anticipated he will provide a fresh arm who can give the Yankees length out of the bullpen, if needed, after the team exhausted their pen on Saturday.
Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal reports that Preston Claiborne will join Mitchell as a call-up prior to Sunday’s game. At this time, it is unknown who the corresponding roster moves will be, but it stands to reason that either Matt Daley or Dellin Betances, both of which threw 41 pitches Saturday, could represent one or both of the necessary moves.