Mitchell Working Through Recent Struggles

CHARLESTON, SC - Being named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team, RiverDogs starter Bryan Mitchell had a noteworthy first half of the season. Recently though, he has been struggling to command his pitches and keep his pitch count down, resulting in some losses and early exits.

"His fastball command hasn't been as good as usual and he's been getting himself into some deep counts," Charleston manager Carlos Mendoza said. "It's all part of the learning process, but he has been doing a pretty good job for the most part. I'm not concerned about him."

Mitchell has gone 4-4 in his last 10 starts with a 4.86 ERA, bringing his season totals to 5-6 with a 4.50 ERA. Four of those losses have come in his last five games.

"The other night wasn't his best, it was a battle," pitching coach Danny Borrell said in regard to Mitchell's last game against Greenville. "In the first four innings he wasn't executing very well, but he did only give up one run through four.

"He made pitches when he had to but then in the fifth he wasn't hit hard, but when you don't execute your pitches you'll fall behind in the count and the hitters will hit."

Mitchell had an excellent start to the season, however, earning him a spot on the All-Star team.

"It was a great honor and it helps reassure me of my hard work I'm putting into this," the Reidsville, NC native said. "I had a really good stretch earlier in the season and I was feeling really good about that.

"But I've had a rougher time lately. I've been having outings I'm not happy with but I'm working through it and trying to take out something positive from each one.

"I've just been falling behind hitters and honestly, beating myself instead of the other team beating me. I've been putting myself in bad situations which always leaves me playing catch up."

"At this level, bad outings are all part of the learning process and can be useful," Mendoza said. "He still has a plus fastball, he's just running out of pitches too early in the game.

"We're still working with him so he can command that fastball and not put too much pressure on himself. A lot of times, he puts too much pressure on himself and that's when things can go the wrong way. I just want him to stay focused and do what he does."

One thing in particular Mitchell and the coaches are working on is keeping his pitches low near the hitters' knees, because that is something he has been struggling with this season.

"Right now, were working on pitching at the bottom of the zone," Borrell said. "With his power, sometimes he can let those low fastballs rise a little too much and he looses those pitches at the knees.

"His attitude has always been good — the way he prepares on and off the field — he's always working hard. Pitch development-wise, the more he repeats his delivery the better he will get."

"I just have to get outs early," the 6-foot-2 righty said. "I can't go 3-2 or 2-2 for each batter because then my pitch count goes way up. But I feel really good right now. I'm just trying to go out there every five games and get my team a win."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"His fastball command hasn't been as good as usual and he's been getting himself into some deep counts,\" Charleston manager Carlos Mendoza said. \"It's all part of the learning process, but he has been doing a pretty good job for the most part. I'm not concerned about him.\"
\r\n
\r\nMitchell has gone 4-4 in his last 10 starts with a 4.86 ERA, bringing his season totals to 5-6 with a 4.50 ERA. Four of those losses have come in his last five games.
\r\n
\r\n\"The other night wasn't his best, it was a battle,\" pitching coach Danny Borrell said in regard to Mitchell's last game against Greenville. \"In the first four innings he wasn't executing very well, but he did only give up one run through four.
\r\n
\r\n\"He made pitches when he had to but then in the fifth he wasn't hit hard, but when you don't execute your pitches you'll fall behind in the count and the hitters will hit.\"
\r\n
\r\nMitchell had an excellent start to the season, however, earning him a spot on the All-Star team.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was a great honor and it helps reassure me of my hard work I'm putting into this,\" the Reidsville, NC native said. \"I had a really good stretch earlier in the season and I was feeling really good about that.
\r\n
\r\n\"But I've had a rougher time lately. I've been having outings I'm not happy with but I'm working through it and trying to take out something positive from each one.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've just been falling behind hitters and honestly, beating myself instead of the other team beating me. I've been putting myself in bad situations which always leaves me playing catch up.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"At this level, bad outings are all part of the learning process and can be useful,\" Mendoza said. \"He still has a plus fastball, he's just running out of pitches too early in the game.
\r\n
\r\n\"We're still working with him so he can command that fastball and not put too much pressure on himself. A lot of times, he puts too much pressure on himself and that's when things can go the wrong way. I just want him to stay focused and do what he does.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne thing in particular Mitchell and the coaches are working on is keeping his pitches low near the hitters' knees, because that is something he has been struggling with this season.
\r\n
\r\n\"Right now, were working on pitching at the bottom of the zone,\" Borrell said. \"With his power, sometimes he can let those low fastballs rise a little too much and he looses those pitches at the knees.
\r\n
\r\n\"His attitude has always been good — the way he prepares on and off the field — he's always working hard. Pitch development-wise, the more he repeats his delivery the better he will get.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I just have to get outs early,\" the 6-foot-2 righty said. \"I can't go 3-2 or 2-2 for each batter because then my pitch count goes way up. But I feel really good right now. I'm just trying to go out there every five games and get my team a win.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

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