Bryan Mitchell made the drive from the Peoria Sports Complex, down the 101 to the 10, a brief detour on the 17 and then back on the 10 to the exit for Tempe Diablo Stadium. Navigating the loop of freeways surrounding Phoenix can be something of an adventure. It was a pleasure for Mitchell. He was on his way to the first of what he knows will be many starts this season. And it will be the longest drive he makes to pitch in a game for his new team. That will be quite the welcome change. The 26-year-old Padres right-hander rode “the Scranton Shuttle” the last three seasons, sometimes flying, often driving the two-plus hours between Scranton-Wilkes Barre and New York. Five times last season he went down and five times he came back up to make mostly long relief appearances and one start for the Yankees. Once, he didn’t leave New York for his one-day demotion. Usually, there would be a couple weeks between the trips. That meant that long between starts. Sometimes his starts in Triple-A would have a severe pitch limit so he could be ready to go for the Yankees if necessary. “It’s tough to really work on stuff and feel good,” Mitchell said. Not a problem anymore. Mitchell is a starter now, handed a job in a rotation for the first time. “I’ve never been told that,” Mitchell said. “Very few guys have the luxury of being told that before the season. It’s obviously new to me. I’m taking that. I know that the situation, just working to get to that point versus trying to do too much in the spring, feeling like I have to fight for a job, which has been the case the past few years.” Mitchell pitched in a game for the Padres for the first time Sunday, allowing a hit in two scoreless innings against the Angels. “Obviously, I was antsy, the nerves were up,” Mitchell said afterward. “I thought it was good. My arm felt good, body felt good, the ball was coming out good, stuff was moving. So we’ll go from there.” That means building up to a start at Petco Park the first week of the season. Three innings next start, four the next … and clarity throughout.
New Padres pitcher Bryan Mitchell's only drive is to start now
San Diego Union-Tribune | Feb 26