Spring training opened with Mitre as a heavy favorite to win a long relief job in the Yankees bullpen, but Bartolo Colon was outstanding, and when the Yankees decided they might not have room for Mitre, they traded him to Milwaukee.* With the Brewers, he’s actually been pretty effective with a 3.27 ERA through 22 appearances. He’s pitched as many as three innings at a time.
With a placeholder already in the rotation, and a series of long relievers coming and going from the minor league system, would the Yankees prefer a guy who they already know and saw pitch pretty well last year? For all the grief he gets in the fan base, Mitre did have a 3.33 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and .223 opponents batting average last year.
The situation reminds me of Chad Gaudin. The Yankees released Gaudin last spring, but they remembered that he pitched well at the end of 2009, and when Gaudin was released by the Athletics in mid-May, the Yankees signed him five days later. He made 30 appearances for the Yankees, pitching in more games than Mitre and throwing more innings than Boone Logan, Chan-Ho Park, Ivan Nova or Kerry Wood.
Could Mitre fall into a similar situation?
* Wonder if Mitre would have made the Opening Day bullpen ahead of Luis Ayala had he stuck around.