While it’s true that we haven’t really gotten into the winter mode yet (thanks to an abnormally warm December in the Northeast—compliments of El Niño—signs that spring isn’t too far away are already popping up. Case in point: On Tuesday, the Bridgeport Bluefish announced the signings of pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Iannazzo.
Mitchell will be entering eighth season in professional baseball 2016, and his third in the Atlantic League. Last season, the 28-year-old right hander started 19 games for the Bluefish, winning six, striking out 86 batters and recording a 2.89 ERA in 112 innings. In addition, the North Carolina native was chosen to represent the Bluefish in the 2016 Atlantic League All-Star Game played at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard.
In 2012, Mitchell made his way to the majors with the New York Yankees. He pitched 4.2 innings, struck out two batters, and had a 3.86 ERA in pinstripes. Overall, Mitchell, who was chosen in the 10th round of the 2009 draft by the Yankees, reached as high as AAA in organized ball, spending parts of three seasons with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankees’ International League affiliate. He also pitched at the AAA level for the Seattle Mariners’ and New York Mets’ organizations.
Overall, in 164 Minor League outings (136 starts), Mitchell has a 62-43 record with a 4.15 ERA, four complete games, two shutouts, and 630 strikeouts in 828.0 innings. Before beginning his professional career, Mitchell attended Clemson University and led the Cape Cod Baseball League in strikeouts during the summer of 2007 for the Bourne Braves.
Iannazzo, a Norwalk native, returns Bridgeport for his third season in the Atlantic League and fifth season overall in professional baseball. Last year with the ’Fish, the 26-year-old southpaw appeared in 31 games (19 starts), earning five victories. He recorded a 4.57 ERA and struck out 77 batters in 122.0 innings.
After signing as a free agent in the Chicago Cubs organization in 2012, Iannazzo started his professional career in the Arizona League. That season, he also played with the Class A Boise Hawks of the Northwest League and the Daytona Tortugas of the Florida State League. He started the next season in Boise, and also pitched for Class A Kane County of the Midwest League. In 2013, he compiled a combined 2-2 record with a 3.38 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 24 relief appearances spanning 26.2 innings. Overall, Iannazzo has picked up 12 wins, struck out 188 batsmen, and chalked up a 4.36 earned run average in 299 innings. Before beginning his professional career, Iannazzo played college ball at the University of Pittsburgh.
“We are so excited to have these guys back in the starting rotation this year,” said Bluefish manager Luis Rodriguez. “They’ve both put up impressive numbers in the past and we expect them to be important members of the team once again.”