TAMPA, Fla. — Bryan Mitchell will get a chance to make the first impression in the competition.
The righthander, one of five starters the Yankees are looking at to fill the last two spots in their rotation, will start Friday’s spring opener against the Phillies at Steinbrenner Field.
Mitchell, 25, shined all of last spring — opposing scouts consistently raved about him — before suffering a broken toe covering first base in his final exhibition outing March 31. Before taking the mound that day, Joe Girardi had announced Mitchell, who did return late in the season, would be on the Opening Day roster.
Adam Warren will start the second game Saturday against the Phillies in Clearwater, followed by Luis Severino on Sunday against the Blue Jays at home and Chad Green on Monday against the Orioles in Sarasota. Masahiro Tanaka will start Tuesday’s split-squad game against the Tigers at home while Luis Cessa will face the Red Sox in Fort Myers.
Mitchell, Warren, Green, Severino and Cessa comprise the quintet fighting for the fourth and fifth rotation slots. All of them appeared at some point in the majors in 2016.
“I don’t really have any favorites going in, I don’t,” Girardi said. “I try to be completely open-minded when you look at this.”
Cessa, 24, made the club out of nowhere last spring and went 4-4 with a 4.35 ERA in 17 appearances, nine of them starts.
The righthander said his changeup, which he lost feel of last season, has been good, something batters he’s faced in live batting practice sessions this spring have mentioned, as well.
Keep an eye on . . .
Lefthander Dietrich Enns, a 19th-round pick of the Yankees in the 2012 draft could be one to watch. The 25-year-old dominated in Double-A Trenton (7-2, 1.93 ERA) and in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (7-2, 1.52) last season and has looked sharp so far.