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Bryan Mitchell

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Bryan Bedford Mitchell

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Bryan Mitchell was a 16th-round draft pick of the New York Yankees in the 2009 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Scott Lovekamp for $800,000, began his pro career in 2010 and reached the majors in 2014.

On April 19, 2014 the Yankees were pummeled by the Tampa Bay Rays, 16-1. They called up Preston Claiborne and Mitchell as insurance for the next day's game, and Mitchell was very nearly pressed into service, for the game went 12 innings. Mitchell was the last man left in the bullpen when the Yankees scored four runs in the top of the 12th, and he briefly started to warm up when Claiborne put some runners on. However, Claiborne finished the game without further ado and Mitchell was returned to the Trenton Thunder (shortly thereafter, David Robertson was reactivated from the disabled list).

It turned out that Mitchell hurt his elbow in that big-league warm-up. However, he was still regarded as a good prospect, especially with a fastball that was measured at 98mph at times in addition to a better-than-average curveball. The Yankees called him up again briefly with one game left before the All-Star break. Manager Joe Girardi said: "I'd rather be protected on the pitching side." Again, Mitchell did not appear in a game, but when he was sent down, it was to Triple-A - effectively, a promotion. He finally did make his debut on August 10th, when he pitched two scoreless innings of relief against the Cleveland Indians. He went 0-1, 3.45 in 3 games for New York, including a start, and a combined 6-7, 4.37 in 23 games for Trenton and the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He missed some time towards the end of the season when he bumped his head in a weight training incident.

Mitchell recorded his first career save on June 20, 2015. It did not come under particularly stressful conditions, as he pitched the last three innings of a 14-3 blowout win over the Detroit Tigers. He made the shuttle between the Big Apple and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a number of times that season, joining the Yankees when they need a rested arm for a spell, and then going back to the minors. He was called up to make a one-off start on August 17th in order to give New York's starters an extra day of rest, but he had to leave the game against the Minnesota Twins in the 2nd inning when he was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Jose Nunez. The hard-hit ball ricocheted off him all the way into centerfield for a single. He was diagnosed with a nasal fracture and a concussion, putting him on the disabled list.

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