If you are a fan of the New York Yankees as I am, then you are scrambling to find some information on their latest call-up -- pitcher D.J. Mitchell. New York just sent hurler Cody Eppley down and brought up Mitchell, who I think will see the same type of action that Eppley saw, typically appearing when New York is behind or comfortably ahead.
Mitchell was having a fine season at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, posting a 2-1 record in four starts with an earned run average of 3.13. Mitchell, a right-hander, allowed just 13 hits in 23 innings and struck out 21 batters. Hitters were batting just .165 against his offerings, so it is time to see if he is the real deal.
Francisco Cervelli, a favorite of mine, continues to struggle at the plate at Triple A, hitting .213 in 66 at-bats. Nevertheless, this is a drastic improvement from the terrible start Cervelli got off to. He has six runs batted in, three doubles, no home runs, and he has struck out a dozen times. While Chris Stewart has performed well in limited playing time backing up Russell Martin, I am hoping Cervelli gets back to the major league Yankees soon. I think he will actually hit better with more on the line, and I love the attitude he brings with him.
Dellin Betances, one of the young pitching prospects whom the Yankees are banking on for the future, also has yet to hit his stride in Scranton. Betances is just 1-2, pitching only 22.1 innings over his five starts. Opponents are hitting .253 off Dellin, scoring 21 times. His 21 walks this year are a big part of his problems, but the good news is that Betances is still only 24 years old. I don't think we will see Betances until he has somewhat mastered his control problems.
Another 24-year-old Yankees minor leaguer, Brandon Laird spent time with the big club last season, hitting .190 in limited action. Laird is batting .263 at Scranton, with a homer and 12 runs batted in. Laird is a versatile player, with the ability to play third, first and outfield. However, Brandon has committed six errors at third this year in his 43 chances, which will not endear him to Yankee brass or New York fans. But I do think that we will see Laird at some point, especially if Andruw Jones continues his struggles at the plate.
Ramiro Pena, a player quite familiar to Yankee rooters, is having a solid season at Scranton, playing mostly at shortstop but sometimes at third and second base. Pena is batting .261 with seven runs batted in, while making four miscues at short, but none anywhere else in the infield. The Yankees inevitably call Pena up at some point when an injury occurs, but they will use him mainly to give the infielders a day off.
I have been a New York Yankee fan since the middle of the 1960s.