On Monday night, the San Diego Padres fell to 0-4 on the season, losing to the Colorado Rockies, 7-4. Bryan Mitchell struggled in his San Diego debut.
San Diego Padres General Manager A.J. Preller got a guy he’s liked for a long time this offseason. As reported by Dennis Lin, then of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Preller said that he and his staff had been interested in Bryan Mitchell for years as they believed he had all the tools to be an effective pitcher. Those tools fell flat Monday night in his first outing as Padre.
Mitchell struggled mightily in his first start for the San Diego Padres. His final line:
5 IP, 8 hits allowed, 5 earned runs, 3 walks, and 0 strikeouts.
Despite his subpar performance on the mound, Mitchell did manage to record his first career base-hit and flash his speed in the process.
Bryan Mitchell gets hit hard, early and often.
Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, and Nolan Arenado wasted no time in getting to Bryan Mitchell. A leadoff double by Blackmon was mashed into left field at 90 mph, followed by a LeMahieu single at 99.5 mph. Arenado then brought in the games first run on a line-drive bullet, launched at 105.5 mph (all courtesy of Baseball Savant)
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In total, 50% of all contact made against Bryan Mitchell was classified as hard-contact, according to Fangraphs. Easy to do for opposing hitters when they get pitches left over the plate. Mitchell left at least six pitches over the heart of the plate last night (according to Baseball Savant’s in-game feed), each of which was mashed.
The most glaring stat in Mitchell’s final stat line? Zero strikeouts. Mitchell failed at getting Colorado hitters to swing and miss last night. He threw his cutter 47 times and recorded just three swing and misses (6.4%). The curveball fared even worse. Mitchell threw his curve 20 times last night, resulting in only six strikes and not a single swing and miss.
In all, Mitchell tossed 94 pitches, landing only 49 of them for strikes. Eighteen times Mitchell threw a first pitch ball to a hitter. This is the first thing he needs to fix, not falling behind hitters after the first pitch of the at-bat.
It’s only one start, however, it’s clear that Mitchell is a long way from being the pitcher he was touted as when he was brought in from New York. All we can do is hope that Tyson Ross can buck the trend of underwhelming performances by this starting pitching staff and finally secure the first Friar win of the season tonight.