Jermaine Mitchell was at FanFest just this past January, admittedly a lot of fans in attendance probably had no idea who he really was. He had never taken an at bat at the O.co Coliseum that sits right next door to the Oracle Arena where the event was being held, but he seemed to be in the mix for a roster spot in 2012 because why else would he be there? Keep in mind this was before this guy named Yoenis Cespedes was a member of the Athletics, that certainly changed things. Mitchell appeared to be something of a late bloomer, he was 27 years old, and was coming off his strongest season in the organization since being drafted in 2006.
Mitchell tore up Midland and Sacramento in 2011 by posting an extremely impressive .332/.430/.530 line in 635 plate appearances. He seemed to be well on his way to forcing himself onto the Athletics 25 man roster. Unfortunately the 2012 season didn’t quite go as planned for Mitchell. Perhaps the highlight of his year was being asked to appear at the FanFest event in January. In 474 plate appearances for the Rivercats Mitchell posted a rather pedestrian .252/.345/.386 line. He missed time due to a back injury as well that derailed his season.
Today a minor move was made that could possibly have a big impact on Mitchell’s future with the organization. The A’s acquired a 27 year old pitcher named Sandy Rosario from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named or cash, and as a result Mitchell was designated for assignment to make room on the Athletics 40 man roster. Mitchell will be put through waivers, and seems like he would be an appealing piece to add for outfield depth, or perhaps a chance for some serious playing time on a rebuilding team. Mitchell’s 2012 was not indicative of the talent he possesses, and he should be able to contribute at some level in the Major Leagues.
Rosario has pitched just 7.2 innings in the Majors with the Marlins over 3 separate seasons and quite frankly got hammered. His 15.26 ERA proves that point. Maybe though his struggles were just a symptom of pitching for a team owned by the trustworthy Jeffrey Loria. As for the A’s, I would look at Rosario in the same light as someone like Jesse Chavez. If he’s in the game (or even on the roster for that matter) you better hope the game is very well decided or there is literally no one left in the bullpen. He did post a very good 1.04 ERA in Triple A New Orleans last year over 26 innings pitched, so perhaps an adjustment here or there could help translate some of that success in the minors to the show.