Mitchinson Looks To Prove He's Healthy

Scott Mitchinson has done his best impression of a traveling salesman this season as he tries to prove he is fully recovered from the labrum surgery that claimed part of last season and the first half of this year.

Scott Mitchinson was one of a triad of Phils pitchers attempting to rehab from injuries down at the team's minor league complex in Clearwater earlier this season. The pitcher enjoyed his time with a "rehab group" that included Phillies setup man Tom Gordon and Phils left-hander Scott Mathieson.

"All the guys worked out together and I definitely learned things from them. It was our own little rehab group," said Mitchinson.

Mitchinson has played with three different Phillies minor league teams this season, including his stint with the BlueClaws. With Lakewood, the 23-year old right-hander has amassed a 3-3 record in eight games with a 4.12 ERA. He concluded his season on Sunday night against Hagerstown by giving up three runs in eight innings, with all the runs coming in the second inning.

The most noticeable part of the season for the right-hander is the fact that he hasn't missed a start on his road to recovery. He has managed to stay healthy and go to the mound every fifth day for whatever team he has been with since debuting with the GCL Phils in late June. Mitchinson is keenly aware of the need to stay healthy and grateful that he has avoided setbacks so far. "The biggest part was just playing again and trying to stay healthy. It's been good that the arm's good and the body feels good," said Mitchinson.

Mitchinson hasn't been bothered by the constant traveling on his road back from surgery, saying that it helped him get his confidence back.

"[The traveling] It's just part of minor league baseball. It was good to be able to build confidence at each stop along the way," said Mitchinson.

Despite being 0-3 combined in the Gulf Coast and New-York Penn Leagues this season, the right-hander posted ERAs of 2.79 and 3.21 respectively. More important than his numbers is the fact that the right-hander reports his arm feels great and is showing no ill effects from the surgery.

"My arm has felt great. In fact, it's the best it's felt in a long time," said Mitchinson after his final start of the year.

Even though Mitchinson's confidence and health have returned, he still lacks arm strength. It is arm strength and command that will dominate Mitchinson's off-season program. He wants to improve his off-speed command, something he feels can always be improved upon for a young pitcher.

"I've been trying to build up my arm strength and get command of my off-speed pitches. That's always the last thing to come because of the feel involved. You can always improve on your command. I just want to be ready to go in spring training next year," said Mitchinson.

Spring training will be crucial in determining the future of Mitchinson's career with the Phillies organization. He is just about back to the form he showed before he was injured last season and could start next year at Double-A Reading if he has a successful Spring Training. Mitchinson is focused on being ready for the spring and hopeful he will be able to show what he can do and open some eyes. "I just want to be ready to go in Spring Training and show what I can do," said the right-hander. Mitchinson has the stuff to pitch in the Major Leagues and has regained the form that put him on the cusp of a promotion last season. If he can regain his arm strength and pitch well in camp, he could start the year at Reading and be in the Majors by September.

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