Yankees right-hander Bryan Mitchell will miss three months due to a fractured toe, Jack Curry of the YES Network reports (Twitter link). Surgery may be necessary, though that won’t be decided until Mitchell visits a specialist, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). In addition, Mitchell also has Grade 3 turf toe.
Mitchell suffered the injury while covering first in yesterday’s Spring Training camp against the Braves. In that very same game, incredibly, Andrew Miller also suffered a chip fracture in his right wrist, leaving the Yankees potentially down two key relievers in a matter of innings.
Miller has said he plans to pitch through the injury to his non-throwing hand, though Mitchell unfortunately had no recourse. The Yankees were building around a potentially superb bullpen this season led by the Aroldis Chapman/Miller/Dellin Betances trio, though Chapman is suspended for the first 30 games, Miller is dealing with his wrist problem and now Mitchell is also hitting the DL.
The 24-year-old Mitchell was expected to take on a greater role with the Yankees this season, stepping into the swingman job left open after Adam Warren was dealt to the Cubs in the Starlin Castro trade. With so many injury questions within the Yankees’ rotation, Mitchell was tabbed as a key depth piece who could step up as a starter if necessary. With Mitchell out of action, it could open the door for Anthony Swarzak or rookies Luis Cessa or Johnny Barbato to join Ivan Nova as New York’s primary rotation depth option.
The righty looked impressive in 14 2/3 spring innings, allowing just one earned run and one walk while recording 11 strikeouts. Mitchell posted a 5.31 ERA, 8.0 K/9 and 1.89 K/BB rate over 40 2/3 innings from 2014-15, with 20 of his 23 appearances in the bigs coming out of the New York bullpen. He possesses a big fastball, averaging 96.1 mph on the pitch last season.