"I had those two bad starts which are affecting my numbers right now," Mitchell said. "But I think I've gone out there and posted [five] more quality outings to make up for it."
With Mitchell's two bad starts out of the picture, Mitchell would be 4-0 with a 2.22 ERA with 21 hits in a little over 28 innings.
"I think he was just trying to figure out the hitters at this level," Trenton Thunder pitching coach Tommy Phelps said. "He's a quiet guy, but he's worked well with [Austin] Romine and [Jose] Gil and has put some quality starts together."
The key to Mitchell's success is the development of his four-seam fastball and a cutter/slider, both of which he is starting to incorporate more into his repertoire and the reason for his rather high walk totals thus far.
"I think it's important to have both pitches working well for me," Mitchell said. "It enables me to keep hitters off balance, and throw them different pitch combinations."
D.J. Mitchell was the 10th rounder back in 2008, and had success in Charleston and Tampa last year, going 12-7 with a 2.63 ERA. The Clemson alum was featured in Sports Illustrated in 2007, after an impressive season in the Cape Cod summer league, where he led the league in strikeouts with 58 over 49 innings.
"That stuff just kind of happens," said Mitchell. "I had a great summer that year, and I try not to worry about that stuff, but it was very cool."
Mitchell's bread and butter is his sinking fastball that can either be used to get ground balls, or to fool hitters with two strikes.
"As long as he complements that sinker with his secondary pitches, he's going to be a great pitcher," said coach Phelps. "He can be a bullpen guy, or a very good starter."
As the season rolls on, it looks better and better that Mitchell is going to figure out the Eastern League, and be ready for a full season at Scranton next year.
Although he is not the biggest guy, standing at 6'2", and weighing in and only 170 pounds, he is still very athletic, and able to hit the low 90's on the gun. So far he hasn't had the strikeout numbers he saw in college, but he still finds ways to get hitters out, and he's adding more to his pitching arsenal.
Mitchell Figuring It Out
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