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Wednesday notes: Mitchell steals the show

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Mar 14, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Manny Banuelos is considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, and there have been days — both this spring and last spring — when he’s shown every bit of that potential. Today was not one of those days, and it was instead often-overshadowed D.J. Mitchell who stole the show.

“(Banuelos) couldn’t throw his secondary pitches for strikes and he was behind,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s just a tough combination. Look at what D.J. Mitchell did. He was able to throw his curveball and his changeup when he was behind in the count to get back in the count and throw some fastballs for strikes. Manny just really struggled with his command.”

Banuelos labored through a four-run fifth inning when he allowed three hits, walked two batters and coughed up Edwin Encarnacion’s second home run of the day. If previous starts have been a reminder of what he can become, today was a reminder that he’s still very young with inconsistent command. It’s nothing that can’t be sorted out, but there’s still some development to be done.

“He’s a young guy and he’s got four pitches to be in the big leagues,” Francisco Cervelli said. “But with the experience, he’s going to learn how you can make adjustments during the game and have more patience. It’s just a bad day. Next time he’s going to come back and of what he always does because it’s great. I think he’s top three over here, best rookie guys.”

As for the top rookie in camp? Mitchell is making his case. He closed today’s game with three hitless innings, striking out four and walking none. Often labeled as a sinkerballer, Mitchell was drawing praise just last week from a Yankees official who said he doesn’t get enough credit for his secondary pitches. Mitchell does generate a lot of ground balls, but they don’t have to come from his two-seamer. He can get them with his changeup, curveball and slider. He did hit two batter today, but through seven innings in big league camp, Mitchell has allowed just three hits.

He was awfully good this afternoon, and Girardi noticed.  

• Obvoiusly the Yankees got good news on Freddy Garcia’s injured right hand, but there will be considerably curiosity tomorrow to find out whether the injury will cause him to miss significant time. “That’s why we try to have depth every year in case you do run into something freaky like this injury,” Girardi said before hearing the x-ray results. “I hope it’s not going to keep him down, but we’ll find out.”

• Garcia was pitching well at the time of the injury. He’d allowed one run through three innings and had just stranded two runners in the bottom of third. Edwin Encarnacion’s comebacker came in the first at-bat of the fourth. “Freddy’s Freddy,” Girardi said. “He commands all his offspeed. He commands his fastball. He changes speeds. And that’s exactly what he did today. His split was effective. Just got his hand in the way. That’s the only thing I didn’t like.”

• Cervelli on how Garcia was pitching for the injury: “It was great. It was really, really good. The split was good A lot of fastballs today. I think he was throwing 90, a lot of movement in the fastball. Really good. His plan was really good today.”

• It’s a positive sign that Dave Robertson was able to jog without pain, but Girardi said he’ll need to throw a few times on the side before he starts getting into games again. “He’s been out long enough that I think he’s got to do some bullpens,” Girardi said.

• Girardi seems to be used to getting velocity questions. This was the first thing he said about Robertson’s half hour on a treadmill: “I don’t have the speed, but there was no pain.”

• In between Garcia’s three innings and Mitchell’s three innings, both Banuelos and Cory Wade pitched an inning. Wade gave up a two-run homer to J.P. Arencibia, letting Garcia’s final base runner come around to score. Wade also had two strikeouts in his inning.

• In spring training, the media is usually in the clubhouse by the fifth or sixth inning, so I didn’t see any of the Yankees seventh-inning rally. They scored four runs in the seventh, all of them generated by non-starters. Doug Bernier had a bases-loaded, two-run double and Dewayne Wise followed with his own two-run double. Wise also had a stolen base in the inning.

• The one Yankees run I did see came on Curtis Granderson’s RBI double in the third inning. It was one of two doubles for Granderson who’s hitting .316 this spring. Granderson and Wise each had two hits.

• Other Yankees with hits: Derek Jeter, Corban Joseph, Mark Teixeira, Cole Garner, Eric Chavez, Jayson Nix and Cervelli. Cervelli and Garner each doubled. The Yankees lost 7-5.

Associated Press photos

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42 Responses to “Wednesday notes: Mitchell steals the show”

  1. Jeff in Canada March 14th, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    “Bronx Jeers March 14th, 2012 at 5:58 pm
    WFAN 660am is the sports station here in NY”

    Thanks Jeers

  2. ron March 14th, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    “(Banuelos) couldn’t throw his secondary pitches for strikes and he was behind,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s just a tough combination. Look at what D.J. Mitchell did. He was able to throw his curveball and his changeup when he was behind in the count to get back in the count and throw some fastballs for strikes. Manny just really struggled with his command.”

    Very nice bit of info

    Imagine throwing a curveball,and a changeup,for a strike,behind in the count.
    The batter has no clue what to expect.

  3. yankeefeminista March 14th, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    DJ’s secondary stuff is filthy. Kid can pitch backwards till doomsday. Wish there was video. :( Thanks, Chad.

  4. luis March 14th, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Thanks Chad, very good post.

  5. J. Alfred Prufrock March 14th, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    luis March 14th, 2012 at 6:27 pm
    JAP,

    I just listened to one inning of work of Banuelos, what i could gather is that he had command issues, fell behind every batter he faced and reach 3-2 count on three guys if i’m not mistaken. Also, the Jays broadcast said that he might have been squeezed a little. i didn’t listen to game after that inning had to go to a meeting.
    ///

    Hey luis! Thanks for the info. Not for nothing, but Toronto has some bats, y’know? Manny’s what, 14 years old ;)? I wish these damn outings of the B’s were watchable. I’m off to dinner, check in later and read backwards. Have a good evening :D

  6. J. Alfred Prufrock March 14th, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    luis March 14th, 2012 at 6:23 pm
    Hi Odds, JAP,

    Franchesa must be one of the dumbest guys i’ve heard in my life….
    ///

    Hear, hear. So dumb, he’s an entertaining cartoon who says classically dumb things that are a joy to repeat!

    Against All Odds March 14th, 2012 at 6:17 pm
    J. Alfred Prufrock March 14th, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    “Jobber is a startun pitchah!”.
    ///

    LOL. Except Mike thinks the opposite: that Jobber is NOT a Stahtun pitcha:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI5xJfYH7NI

    ——————

    Him and that clown Seth Everett were banging the drum for yrs about him belonging in the pen. SMH how is that working out boys
    ///

    Odds, I’ll never tire though, of that immortal quote!

    Bronx Jeers March 14th, 2012 at 6:17 pm
    “Jobber is a startun pitchah!”.

    Yeah Im not sure where that “startun pitchah!” thing came from but I see it a lot in here.

    The Francesca I remember was always screaming “He’s just a guy!” when discussing Joba.
    ///

    Bronx, his obsession with “Jobber” was somewhat disturbing…..

    Any way, see you guys later. Good one, all.

  7. J. Alfred Prufrock March 14th, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    yankeefeminista March 14th, 2012 at 6:41 pm
    DJ’s secondary stuff is filthy. Kid can pitch backwards till doomsday. Wish there was video. Thanks, Chad.
    ///
    Yankeefem, I think your boy DJ’s way ahead of the curve (pun intended) :D.

    Later.

  8. luis March 14th, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Take care JAP, enjoy your dinner

  9. yankeefeminista March 14th, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Agree, Jays are a tough team to face. I remember Hughes’ first mlb game vs. them in April 2007. With the exception of Vernon Wells, Hughes actually didn’t fare too badly. It was exciting to attend his major league debut. Sounds like Manny B. just got behind and when you are a young pitcher, getting squeezed doesn’t help your sense of the strike zone. Heading out, more later.

  10. luis March 14th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Yankeefem,

    I don’t know if you got the chance to see Phelps yesterday, he was impressive. What a pair we have in this two kids. Chad comments of DJ are no small praise..!

  11. Against All Odds March 14th, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Yes that quote never gets old :)

  12. Against All Odds March 14th, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Hey Luis :D

  13. luis March 14th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Odds,

    From now on, every time i use the word “dumb”, i’ll use you are “Franchesa” instead…. :)
    I wonder how he keeps his job.

  14. GreenBeret7 March 14th, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Teheran and Strasberg are having a little trouble keeping the ball in the park. Two more through 4 innings.

  15. jacksquat March 14th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Did Banuelos face major leaguers and Mitchell face minor league subs? Have to keep that in mind, also when looking at hitting performances of those who usually enter the game later.

  16. luis March 14th, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    jacksquat March 14th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Good point, Banuelos faced the heart of the order of Toronto ( Bautista, Lind, Encarnacion, Laurie among others that i don’t remember )…I don’t know who Mitchell faced.

  17. Jerkface March 14th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Mitchell faced the second string. Omar Vizquel , Ben Francisco, and Jeff Mathis being the most famous. He did face good prospects Anthony Gose & Travis d’Arnaud. Not exactly A-ballers, so kudos to Mitchell for looking so good in spring.

  18. Against All Odds March 14th, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Lol I have no idea. With that said I don’t mind Mike. I mean I watch his show a lot its just sometimes he can be so wrong. For example the day Peyton Manning was released by the Colts Mike went on the air and said this is going to be a while, Manning and HBO might make this into a reality show, he’s not going to sign early, this will drag out for weeks, etc. That night every sports outlet reports the Manning situation will end sometime next week. The next day Mike opens up the show and says Manning is smart he isn’t going to wait long and turn this into a circus. I sat there and thought did you not hear yourself yesterday.

  19. luis March 14th, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Against All Odds March 14th, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    He has selective memory….That way he is always right…. :)

  20. Rice Pudding Flavoured Relief Pitcher March 14th, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Mitchell’s stats through 23 batters this spring…

    23 ab .130 avg 0er 2bb 5k’s

    With men on base 0 for 8.

    You’d have to think he’ll be in line for a call up if Kontos gets out the gate slowly IF another starter goes down with an injury

  21. Against All Odds March 14th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    That’s true and when he gets called out for it he puts his hand on his chest and says I never said that

    smh.

  22. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 14th, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    If there’s someone I don’t worry about, it’s Strasburg.

    So if the Knicks win, of course there will be some who say it’s because D’Antoni’s gone.

    I just got in so haven’t seen who’s been doing what, but you can bet they are a more focused team tonight, maybe even told each other they were going to win it for D’Antonti. And I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that Jeffries is back in the lineup. And that they’re playing a lower-tier team.

    But good for them, no matter what it’s taken. Maybe this “scare” will turn Melo into more of a team player.

  23. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 14th, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I like Lin to Stat. I think they’re a good tandem and have great respect for each other. Love Shumpert he scraps like hell, Novak is a great 3-point shooter, Chandler is awesome for defense. And then there’s Fields and even JR. And Jeffries. They do have a lot of players who can get the job done.

  24. mick March 14th, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    knicks have enough talent to go around, very diverse. just need focus. ball movement and defense will help too. woodson seems creative and is defense 1st. on to the playoffs.

  25. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 14th, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    mick, it’s a shame that D’Antoni had to be sacrificed.

  26. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 14th, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Knock me over with a feather. Melo has actually passed off the ball twice!

  27. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 14th, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    mick – as soon as the heat is off look for Melo to turn back into the king of isolation plays.

  28. jr1212 March 14th, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    @ trisha

    The results have nothin to do with the coaching staff, it has to do with the opposition sucking. However for all the talk about Melo being selfish he is the first one huddling his teammates (of course is easier when your winning).

    On another thought look how Raymond Felton is playing. He played like an all star with Dantoni system, he just looks lost.

  29. mick March 14th, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    melo is relaxed as is amare, blazers suck but woodson brings the D. cant win in nba w/out it.
    like the use of baron early with jeffries. this has to be melo’s team for them to win. dantoni and he clashed. melo has something to prove. i like.

  30. mick March 14th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    whoever thought the cavs-bucks game would be big.

  31. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 14th, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    jr, I actually feel bad for Portland. I hate to see anyone get blown out like that. I think that Melo knows that all eyes are on him and he is probably feeling some of the guilt for D’Antoni leaving. But he’s known to sit on the bench when the team huddles so I think he is on his best behavior because he knows he’s been pointed out as a weak link.

    What a difference when he actually doesn’t hog the ball.

    We’ll see if it sticks or if he feels more comfortable to turn back into himself once time has passed.

  32. jr1212 March 14th, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Mike,

    The team does look relaxed, but I think it has to do with the competition. But what a concept, run the offense through the best players on your team…

    Who woulda thought that game would b important

  33. mick March 14th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    melo wanted dantoni gone and feels no guilt, his leaving was a foregone conclusion.

  34. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 14th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    See Amare took a lot of heat for having a down season but it appears to me that he just didn’t get the ball as much as he should have as mr. cool always wanted the ball given to him. Stat was hot the other night and didn’t get the ball much at all. I truly think that Lin is intimidated by Melo and has felt pressure to feed him the ball as much as possible. JMO

  35. jr1212 March 14th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Trisha,

    You might be right regarding melo..but I just think he wasnt comfortable in that system. Hopefully the team can keep this up

  36. LockDown March 14th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Felton was soooooo good last year for the knicks. Things suck for him now :(

  37. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 14th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    “melo wanted dantoni gone and feels no guilt”

    You’re probably right. Poor word choice. I should have said that he feels the heat.

  38. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 14th, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Absolutely a different Anthony. I predict it won’t last. But what do I know.

    It isn’t entirely eradicated though since he had to take the ball all the way down the court on the previous play and then go for the shot.

    You know the old saying – a Melo does not change its spots.

    :)

  39. Triple Short of a Cycle March 14th, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Do people really think the Knicks have turned a corner because they are blowing out a team who is barely playing?

  40. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 14th, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Nah.

  41. mick March 14th, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    try to give melo a break, he is under to pressure to be the savior.
    he is their only superstar, don’t believe amare is.
    the team has to be built around him.

  42. Triple Short of a Cycle March 14th, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Sorry but you need to be a 2 way player to be considered a superstar imo

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