Mitchell pitches his way onto Yanks' roster

March 29th, 2016

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are about to deliver some good news to Bryan Mitchell, who has secured a spot on the Opening Day roster, according to manager Joe Girardi.

Girardi said that the right-hander will be going north with the team, likely working out of the bullpen. Mitchell compiled an 0.61 spring ERA and is scheduled to appear as a reliever in Wednesday's split-squad game against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

"He's a guy that's pitched extremely well," Girardi said. "He's going to be with us one way or the other."

Mitchell has been mentioned as a dark-horse candidate for the final rotation spot, but CC Sabathia appears to have beaten out Ivan Nova for that opening following his performance in Tuesday's rain-shortened 5-4 win.

"The competition, we said, was between the three guys. It's kind of between the two guys," Girardi said. "But [Mitchell has] pitched well. He's pitched well enough to maybe get that shot, too, but [most likely], he'll be out of the bullpen."

Mitchell has allowed one run and six hits in 14 2/3 innings, making three starts and two relief appearances. He has issued one walk and hit a batter while striking out 11.

"My goal coming into Spring Training was to make this team in any role, so I feel like I've put myself in a good position to do that," Mitchell said last week. "I'm not really trying to stress about those things. I'm trying to focus on what I'm doing."

Girardi expects to carry 12 pitchers to begin the season. With Mitchell set to join Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve and the runner-up in the fifth-starter battle in the bullpen, the Yankees project to have two bullpen spots left to decide.

The contenders include Johnny Barbato, Luis Cessa, Nick Goody, Tyler Olson, Branden Pinder, Anthony Swarzak and Kirby Yates.