"It was awesome, obviously dreamed about as a kid and everything I worked towards went to this and got to rise up the ranks," Mitchell said. "I learned things and will continue to learn things to get back up there."
Mitchell was understandably exciting about the prospect of making his Major League debut at Yankee Stadium and against a division rival.
"I was ready to get after and get in the game," Mitchell admitted. "I was thinking beforehand about the hitters I could face. Of course I was a little nervous but being around [Yankee teammates] in spring training I felt more comfortable and it helped me throw strikes."
Called in to relieve Rafael Soriano at the top of the 9th inning, Mitchell did just that. He struck out the first batter he had ever faced on four pitches. Mitchell fooled J.J. Hardy on a breaking ball down in the zone.
"It was pretty awesome," he said. "It's easy to get overwhelmed at the big level but don't need to complicate things. Falling behind there and [MLB hitters] will make you pay."
Mitchell competed along side Adam Warren and David Phelps in Spring Training for the long relief position. Phelps won the job.
Prior to joining Phelps and the New York Yankees, Mitchell was 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"It was great to see Phelps again and his success there has been awesome," Mitchell said.
In two appearances, Mitchell pitched 2.2 innings with an ERA of 3.38. After completing his second stint of relief work against the Kansas City Royals, Mitchell was optioned back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"They mentioned that I had pitched two out of three games and was not going to pitch for a while," he said. "[Mariano Rivera] went down and they needed more pitchers as well as hitters. They sent me down to work out things and need to attack hitters more with strikes. I need to work ball down and will succeed. That is what I am working for."
In his first start back at Scranton-Wilkes Barre, the Clemson University standout pitched six innings, allowed three earned, stroke out six, and was credited for a no decision against the Columbus Clippers last Thursday.
"I did not pitch efficiently and not happy when going six innings," Mitchell said prior to his last start. "I did some things well but should have done better and I was close to my pitch count."
He threw 96 pitches. Sixty were thrown for strikes.
"I should have gotten more than six innings and at least seven innings with that pitch count."
The 6-foot-0 right-hander has a fastball, sinker, changeup, and curveball at his disposal. He rarely likes to rely on one pitch and prefers to mix it up by getting his offspeed pitches involved. His number one pitch though is his fastball.
"Keeping the ball down and commanding the fastball is the biggest thing," Mitchell said. "I showed I can do it but there is plenty of room for improvement so it's not an issue at all and not there completely. Scotty (Scranton Wilkes/Barre pitching coach Scott Aldred) and guys are helping me learn and get better and go from there."
Mitchell can not control when he might get called up and focuses on what he can do to be noticed. Although he is more comfortable starting, Mitchell does not mind pitching in relief.
"It's still pitching and I'm going to compete. I'm fine with it. I'm going to help the team win," he concluded.
Mitchell Destined to Return
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