Mitchell activated after nearly 3 months on DL

September 1st, 2018
MONTERREY, MEXICO - MAY 05: Starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell #50 of San Diego Padres pitches in the second inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey on May 5, 2018 in Monterrey, Mexico. Padres defeated the Dodgers 7-4. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images)Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

SAN DIEGO -- Sept. 1 is here, meaning Major League rosters have officially expanded.

The Padres made just one move, and it wasn't a call-up. Instead, they activated off the disabled list, where he spent nearly three months after being diagnosed with right elbow impingement.

Mitchell will start for the Padres on Monday in Arizona, earning a coveted chance in the rotation for a team with an abundance of encouraging rookie arms and several off-days in September. The Friars have five days off in the final month of the season, which doesn't bode well for the many pitchers hoping to show their worth.

But as San Diego continues to experiment with its future rotation, the Padres are open to rewarding those who have worked hard enough to deserve a chance. That's the case for Mitchell, whose 2018 season has gone entirely off course. He began the season in the rotation, but was moved to the bullpen after being tagged with a 6.47 ERA in 32 innings in his first seven starts. His outings in relief didn't fare much better -- he has an 8.25 ERA in 16 1/3 innings.

Still, Mitchell showed encouraging signs in his rehab assignment, and will get at least one more shot to prove where or if he belongs on the roster. Mitchell made six starts for Class A Elsinore, allowing 13 earned runs in 28 1/3 innings while striking out 28. It was enough for the Padres to give Mitchell one more shot as a starter.

"It's an opportunity for what he's gone and done in the Minor Leagues," manager Andy Green said. "I think there's been some positive signs in his outings and some things we like that he's attempted to adjust. He's still the same live-arm guy that we liked in the beginning of the year."

San Diego will try to narrow its sample size of starting pitchers by process of elimination. While the rookies who have debuted (, Joey Lucchesi, and ) have been pretty formidable, they also have on top of Mitchell to factor in, and that's before any other call-ups they make this month. But the team made it clear it felt Mitchell deserved an opportunity to compete, regardless of how rocky his year has gone. His window might not be as large as others.

"After he got hurt we wanted to help him try to recapture the success he's had in the Minor Leagues that he's never been able to realize in the big leagues," Green said. "The only way you can find out if we've helped him is by giving him the opportunity in the big leagues again. However many starts that plays into, that's hard to say right now. We're going to read each one and kind of respond to the results and how he feels, what he looks like and make a determination.

"It's no secret that some of these guys have a longer leash than other guys," he added. "We stayed with Lauer when he had some rough early starts, we stayed with Nix after he gave up five runs in the first inning, and we've stayed with Bryan for a long time too. At some time, it's got to be about results too."

Worth noting

• The Padres will see a few players move up to the big leagues, but with Triple-A El Paso competing in the playoffs, there isn't much rush. There also isn't much need. With their recent success, the Padres are eager for their current roster to play consistently as a slight preview of where they could be next season.

"All these guys that are on the field right now, in some way we want to see play consistently," Green said. "And they are, they're playing well.

"We'll see a couple of them in relatively short order," he added. "Maybe not all the way through the playoffs before we see a couple of guys, but we'll make sure we have the proper amount of reinforcements here."

• San Diego may be riding a four-game win streak, but is riding a victory of his own. He's the new champion of first-base coach Skip Schumaker's base-running chart competition -- and Jankowski taped the bracket proudly onto his locker.

Shoemaker designed the competition in Spring Training as a continuous, two-week contest with a goal to earn as many points in game-time scenarios as possible. The competition channeled into the regular season. Green points can be earned by running hard, making good turns on the bases, breaking up double plays, etc. Red points can be deducted by not hustling, or making bad turns or decisions on the base paths. Jankowski was this contest's winner with a total of 58 points.

"It's the smaller things that people kind of take for granted," Jankowski said. He's [Skip's] a big stickler on doing the little things right so this just holds us accountable."

The championship chart displayed under Jankowski's name on his locker might hold the team a little accountable, too.

"I need people to have that reminder that I was the winner for these two weeks," Jankowski said with a laugh. "Just in case they forget."