New York Yankees pitcher Bryan Mitchell will make the team out of spring training, while CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova are still competing for a roster spot.
Manager Joe Girardi said Mitchell, who made 20 appearances (two starts) last season, will be on the 25-man roster, likely in a bullpen role. The 24-year-old Mitchell has recorded a 3.19 ERA in 31 innings (12 appearances) through the spring.
Last season, Mitchell recorded a 6.37 ERA in 29 2/3 innings in the majors. He made 15 starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season, going 5-5 with a 3.12 ERA. The Yankees drafted him in the 16th round in 2009.
While Sabathia, who pitched four innings of two-run ball in a rain-shortened game on Tuesday, believes he clinched a spot in the back end of the Yankees' rotation, Girardi did not say whether or not he earned a spot in the Yankees' rotation. Nova is expected to pitch on Wednesday.
Mitchell could become one of the more important members of the bullpen regardless of the role he plays. Right now, Mitchell has had one of the better springs of the Yankees pitchers, allowing Girardi to decide on the fly whether to use him as a right-handed middle reliever, or to utilize Mitchell's ability to pitch extended innings as the starters work to go longer into games.
There was a chance that Mitchell would be sent to Triple-A in order to completely stretch him out in case of an injury to a starter somwhere down the road. However, the emergence of right-hander Luis Cessa might have made the decision to keep Mitchell with the major league club easier. Cessa can be that insurance starter while Mitchell assumes the role of a versatile weapon in the Yankees bullpen.