Jared Mitchell needed a couple of injuries above him on the depth chart to have any shot of breaking camp with the major-league club, so he was pretty much assured of starting the season in Charlotte. That said, he still faced some pressure to put together a credible spring, if only to pay back Buddy Bell for his unyielding support through numerous hardships.
So far, so great.
Mitchell, who was among four players reassigned to Triple-A by the White Sox after today's thrashing of the Cubs, laid the groundwork for a legitimate comeback season, because he really couldn't have performed any better.
The 2009 first-round draft pick capped off his official Cactus League season in fine form this afternoon. Mitchell replaced Dayan Viciedo in left and reached base in both his plate appearances, legging out a double and drawing a walk. That raised his (possibly final) spring line to a sterling .387/.441/.710 over 34 plate appearances, including:
- Three doubles
- Two triples
- One (opposite-field) homer
- Two steals in two attempts
- Three walks to seven strikeouts
The next step will be proving that he can carry a hot start past April, as he tore the cover off the ball during his first month in Birmingham last year, only to cool off for the rest of the season. If he can keep his strikeout rate closer to 20 percent than 30 percent, his future will be what it used to be.
Along with Mitchell, the Sox also reassigned Andre Rienzo, Jhan Marinez and Josh Phegley to Triple-A. None of these cuts are unexpected, and so you can cross their names off the list of remaining players who remain interesting, even if they're longshots to make the 25-man roster:
Starters: Dylan Axelrod