According to Goldstein, Mitchell is a sinkerball specialist who may see some major league innings this season. That would be fun. It may be totally meaningless, but Mitchell has been a nice surprise this spring. He has pitched three times for a total of seven innings. He has given up only three hits and two walks while striking out five. Mitchell has yet to give up a run this spring. After a recent bad outing by Manny Banuelos, Joe Girardi used D.J. Mitchell as a comparison to what Banuelos did not do correctly. That had to feel good to hear for Mitchell.
Much like Mitchell’s rankings, his minor league pitching stats do not blow you away. He’s done a great job preventing home runs and has a minor league career rate of only 0.5 per nine innings. But his strikeout and walk rates do not look overly impressive at 6.9 and 3.4 respectively. He is not overly stingy at allowing base hits and has averaged 8.5 hits per nine innings over his minor league career. But again, he is 38-20 in the minors with a 3.28 ERA. And he hasn’t suffered moving up to Triple A where he has been 15-9 with a 3.22 ERA.
Look, D.J. Mitchell is not going to make the team this season. And if the Yankees need to plug some holes in the rotation during the season, the call will probably go to Adam Warren and David Phelps. But D.J. Mitchell has caught my fancy on a pure whimsical level. He reminds me of another unsung prospect sinkerball pitcher the Yankees once had in Chien-Ming Wang. Wang didn’t work out too badly for the Yankees, no? It would be great fun to see Mitchell get a call and see if he can continue to beat those overwhelming odds he has been so good at beating up to this point.