The New York Yankees‘ bullpen has suffered another setback as Bryan Mitchell is expected to miss at least three months due to a toe injury.  

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Mitchell Out Until Midseason Due to Toe Ailment

Thursday, March 31

Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Mitchell has a fractured toe on his left foot, but it’s unclear whether surgery will be necessary. Jack Curry of the YES Network stated it’s a “Grade 3 turf toe,” which will require a minimum of 12 weeks to recover.

Word of the setback comes just days after Mitchell was informed he earned a spot on the 25-man roster for Opening Day. Ryan Hatch of NJ Advance Media passed along comments from the right-handed reliever after he first suffered the injury Wednesday: “I honestly don’t know what to feel right now. I’m just trying to stay positive and hopefully when I wake up tomorrow it feels 10 times better than it does. Just trying to stay positive right now.”

The bullpen was expected to become a major part of the Yankees’ success coming into spring training. Now, it’s suddenly become a question mark with the regular-season opener scheduled for Monday afternoon against the Houston Astros.

Projected closer Aroldis Chapman was suspended 30 games under the league’s new domestic violence policy. Andrew Miller, who was expected to fill the closer void for the time being, also faces an uncertain status due to a wrist injury, per Mark Townsend of Yahoo Sports.

Mitchell had shined during spring training with a 0.57 ERA across six appearances with 12 strikeouts in 15.2 innings. He also posted a 0.64 WHIP, and his batting-average against was just .132.

That success, combined with the suddenly unstable New York bullpen, made him a candidate to pitch some high-leverage innings early in the campaign. That seemed like a long shot at the start of camp after he finished last season with a 6.37 ERA in 20 games.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted the injury is a double whammy for the organization:

Looking ahead, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Miller hopes to pitch through the pain despite the injury to his non-pitching hand, but the Yanks are awaiting details form a hand specialist. If he’s unavailable, Dellin Betances will be the last member of the team’s star pen trio left standing.

Chasen Shreve, Johnny Barbato and Kirby Yates are among the other relievers who will need to step up while the Yankees wait for Chapman, Miller and Mitchell to assume their expected roles.


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