Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 4/30/12

With the big league pitching staff under performing, the New York Yankees front office has been forced to shake things up. In the upheaval, minor league starter D.J. Mitchell finds himself added to the 25-man roster for the first time in his four-year pro career.

Mitchell, who was omitted from the Yankees pre-season Top 15 prospect list, was out-performing – and earned the promotion over – fellow prospects Dellin Betances (ranked third) and Adam Warren (14th) at triple-A. Rookie hurler David Phelps (12th) was pitching well enough in the big league bullpen to earn a shot at replacing disappointing veteran Freddy Garcia in the starting rotation.

Mitchell was originally selected in the 10th round of the 2008 amateur draft out of Clemson University. Interestingly, the right-hander began his college career as an outfielder and did not focus on pitching until his final year of school. Despite the late position switch Mitchell has moved through the Yankees system at a brisk pace and has now spent parts of three seasons in triple-A.

The soon-to-be-25-year-old made four starts in 2012 and gave up just 13 hits in 23.0 innings of work. He walked seven and struck out 21. Right-handers were hitting just .136 against him compared to lefties at .214. Mitchell worked more than 160 innings at triple-A in 2011 so he has the ability to provide a lot of innings out of the big league bullpen if needed. The move to the ‘pen might help the athletic pitcher’s stuff play up a bit. His fastball currently sits in the 87-91 mph range and he also features a decent slider and changeup. He has average control. At just 6’0” and with a slender frame, the North Carolina native has been long considered a future reliever at the big league level.

How long Mitchell sticks in New York naturally depends on his results, as well as the success of those around him. If the pitchers in the starting rotation continue to struggle – and there is no reason to expect that they will long term – then even more drastic measures may have to be taken. Who knows, perhaps even Mitchell will receive a shot at the starting rotation before the season ends.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What does Tevin Coleman’s return mean for Devonta Freeman?

Antonio Cromartie: Odell Beckham Jr. a ‘one hit wonder’

Thompson fires shots at Clippers: ‘Didn’t they lose to the Rockets?’

'Sell high' and 'buy low' fantasy candidates

Marshawn Lynch ruled out by Seahawks for Week 5

Howard says he played through torn MCL, meniscus in playoffs


Bills offensive progress stalled by injuries

Bruins’ Zac Rinaldo: Raffi Torres’ suspension 'really opened my eyes’

Cowboys’ Sean Lee cleared to play vs. Patriots after concussion battle

NHL Dept. of Player Safety inconsistent with discipline?

Tennessee desperate for big win over #19 Georgia

UCLA punter Adam Searl arrested on suspicion of rape

WATCH: Prince Fielder wipes out trying to climb over dugout railing

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

What’s wrong with Ohio State’s offense?

Weeden: ‘I don’t need a 12-yr-old telling me how to play’

Fan at Texas A&M game was so drunk, he reportedly told police he was at Baylor vs. Texas Tech

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Mallett’s dad: Criticism of QB makes his grandmothers cry

LSU has sold a disappointing amount of tickets for South Carolina game

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of the college football season

Dalton motivated by getting booed at celebrity softball game

Which undefeated college team has best résumé?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

NHL Department of Player Safety inconsistent in disciplining players?

Explaining the silence on Thabo Sefolosha’s police brutality trial

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of CFB

Joe Maddon's defensive calculus

Sepp Blatter appeals FIFA suspension

Looking at four NHL goaltenders who debuted for new teams

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker