If there's one place the Yankees could really stand to add some depth before the trade deadline, it's the rotation. We've been through the talking points a million times already this season, so nobody needs to be reminded of why that is or what the concerns are. The bottom line is that the Yankees have multiple concerns in their rotation with over 70 games to play and their organizational starting pitching depth is not what it was at the beginning of the season. That being the case, let me ask this. Does it make sense to send Bryan Mitchell down to Triple-A to stretch back out and work as a starter? Based on what we've seen in his 9+ Major League relief innings, the quick answer is no. Mitchell's already plus stuff has played up as expected out of the bullpen. He's been firing mid-high 90s heat and a nasty curveball, and along with Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve he's helped to stabilize and even solidify the Yankees' middle relief.
But that bullpen, through the addition of Warren, the ermergence of Shreve, the sustained excellence of Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson, and the return of Andrew Miller from the DL, is suddenly deep again. Those 5 names are the top 5 guys in Joe's binder, and Mitchell as the 6th guy in front of long/garbage man Capuano is not exactly a critical piece in the overall leverage hierarchy.
Could he be a more critical piece to have on hand as extra rotation depth? Warren and Capuano are basically out of the mix as potential 6th and 7th starters now, Chase Whitley is on the shelf after TJS, and the Triple-A rotation isn't stacked with great options. If the Yankees needed a 6th starter today, it would most likely end up being Esmil Rogers. We all know how that would turn out. If not him, it would probably have to be Luis Severino and that's not an ideal solution either. As well as he's pitched since getting bumped up to SWB, he's still only working about 5 innings/60-70 pitches a game. He isn't ready to face a Major League lineup 2-3 times.
Which brings us back to Mitchell. He's made a Major League start before, he's been up in the show a few times now. He knows the environment and the feeling and he has the stuff to hang, so he'd be the most viable option of the 3 if it came down to needing an internal rotation replacement. He also wasn't pitching all that poorly for the RailRiders when he was in the rotation. 2.79 ERA/3.08 FIP, 54 strikeouts in 67.2 innings without allowing a home run.
It would take a few weeks, and this move certainly wouldn't eliminate the Yankees from acquiring more pitching help on the trade market. But they could use more than one starting arm for insurance's sake and I don't see them being all that aggressive on the trade front for top shelf names. If they aren't going to be big players there and they know they need to add some rotation depth, why not make the move and give that spot to Mitchell?