Which actually is a fine lead-in to discussing what the senior lefthander’s role could be with the 2015 Diamond Dogs. After two excellent years in long relief, Mitchell moved into SEC rotation for most of the past season and made the best of the unexpected opportunity.
But this is a new year, the senior year, and in the Mississippi State way of things almost every aspect of Diamond Dog pitching is up for review and revision during fall ball. Know what? Mitchell is just fine with it, and for that matter with any identity he might be assigned by Opening Day ’15. Start, long-relief, set-up, closing even?
“It’s going to be wherever it best fits the team. I haven’t put much thought into it because we have a long fall and spring to go. It could change in the season.”
Meanwhile Coach John Cohen is proud of the condition Mitchell has achieved in time for fall. First, the hip issues that nagged him all of the junior year seem safely behind him. So this fall he can scrimmage with the gang.
“I’m definitely excited. I’ll be able to work on more stuff than last year and I’m feeling healthy. I think it was a good experience to be able to teach (younger teammates). But I’m excited about playing.”
And, about the physical tone he brings into this part of the calendar. The team’s ranking carbohydrate champ with a sugar intake to frighten hummingbirds, Mitchell has cracked down. “I’m trying to eat a little better. Not as much candy, trying not to drink as many sodas.” But, Bulldog fans, fear not; one ritual will remain.
“I‘ll probably still drink a Mountain Dew during the game. But only on game days!”