A chill in the air that made it feel like early April and a swirling mist made hitting conditions fairly miserable Wednesday night at the Stadium. But one opposing team talent evaluator said rough weather had little to do with Bryan Mitchell’s effectiveness against the Red Sox.
“Plus fastball, plus curveball, plus changeup,” the evaluator said. “That was good [stuff].”
The Red Sox no doubt would agree after managing only two hits and no runs in seven innings against Mitchell in the Yankees’ 5-3 victory.
The 25-year-old righthander, who missed most of the season with a fractured left big toe — an injury that occurred at the end of spring training — lowered his ERA to 3.24 in five starts since returning.
Mitchell, who will be in the thick of the competition for a rotation spot in spring training, was most pleased with his curveball, a pitch he didn’t feel great about in his first four starts.
“Very rewarding is a good way to put it,” Mitchell said of his final start of 2016, a year that began with a frustrating injury but ended with him and the Yankees excited about what he can do in 2017.
Will he or won’t he?
Masahiro Tanaka, who was skipped Monday because of a slight strain in his right forearm, came through Wednesday’s bullpen session OK and believes he’ll be able to take his next scheduled start Saturday against Baltimore. Now that the Yankees have been eliminated, they might choose to shut down Tanaka, who has thrown 199 2⁄3 innings.
“I do understand that,” he said through his translator.
Report from Tampa
DH Greg Bird went 1-for-4 with an RBI double in his first Instructional League game Wednesday. Righthander James Kaprielian, who is among the organization’s top prospects and has been out since late April with a strained right flexor tendon, is slated to start an Instructional League game Friday.