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Buzz: D.J. Mitchell as Cory Wade

3/20/2012

A recurring feature of the blog, Buzz, will follow Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, as well as other top Yankee prospects, all season long.

When Joe Girardi is asked whom D.J. Mitchell reminds him of, his answer is easy.

"Cory Wade," Girardi says.

Both Wade and Mitchell feature the change as their out pitch. Just as Wade became a fixture in the bullpen last year, it seems possible that Mitchell could have a major league impact this season, albeit in a minor role. He could be a Yankees' long man.

You may have heard that with Andy Pettitte in Tampa, the Yankees have the Super 7 starting rotation. Plus, they have Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, David Phelps and Adam Warren to go along with Mitchell, as more potential starters. They are 12 deep.

It seems pretty certain that Banuelos and Betances are going to spend most, if not all, of the year in Triple-A, unless there is a combination of major league injury and huge development strides. The Yankees could choose to take either Michael Pineda, Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova and have them pitch at Triple-A so they are stretched out when the team needs a starter in the rotation. In that scenario, Freddy Garcia would be the fifth starter.

Mitchell, 24, went to Clemson. He is a right-hander, like Wade. Wade has become something of a mentor for Nova as the two discuss sequencing of pitching so they can setup their changes. Mitchell, along with Phelps, could be guys that might emerge if the Yankees go with Garcia in the rotation and choose to keep Pineda, Hughes or Nova stretched out at Triple-A.

In nine innings this spring, Mitchell has allowed one run on five hits.