After adding velocity while pitching in Triple-A, Mitch White has found his way back into the Blue Jays’ plans

Photo credit:© Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
The Toronto Blue Jays starting pitching depth has been tested this Spring Training.
Their bonafide ace, Kevin Gausman, has yet to pitch in Grapefruit League action and it’s to be seen if he’ll be ready for Opening Day next week. Alek Manoah, who was their ace prior to a rough showing in 2023, only pitched in one game before his shoulder started to hurt and he’ll definitely not be ready when the Blue Jays arrive in Tampa Bay to kick things off against the Rays.
On top of that, their big signing this past off-season, Yariel Rodríguez, only made his Blue Jays debut on Sunday because he had back spasms earlier in Spring Training. Like Gausman, it’s to be seen whether or not Rodríguez will be ready to go before Opening Day.
Long story short, the Blue Jays might need to rely on some different arms for the first few weeks or months of the season. Yes, this includes Mitch White.
The Blue Jays acquired the right-handed pitcher at the 2022 deadline, giving up current Top 100 prospect Nick Frasso and left-handed prospect Moises Brito for White and prospect Alex De Jesus. Some may say that this trade is already a loss for the Blue Jays considering Frasso is ranked as MLB Pipeline’s 80th-best prospect, but depending on how White pitches in 2024, that could change.
Last season was rough for the right-handed pitcher, as he posted a 7.11 ERA and a 4.91 FIP in 12.2 innings pitched, along with a 21.7 K% and an 11.7 BB%. It wasn’t much better the season prior for the Jays, as he had a 7.74 ERA and a 3.76 FIP in 43 innings pitched after the trade in 2022.
White missed the first part of the 2023 season due to two separate injuries which meant he spent significant time with Triple-A Buffalo. On the surface, his 5.50 ERA and 5.15 FIP in 55.2 innings pitched are far from great. His K% also increased to 26.7%, and his BB% of 12% remained high. Let’s take a deeper look.
After White was designated for assignment at the end of July, he returned to Buffalo and allowed five earned runs in his first 2.2 innings pitched. However, from August 18 until the end of the season, he gave up just seven earned runs in 33.1 innings pitched for a 1.89 ERA. His K% also increased to an impressive 31.4%, while his BB% dropped to 10.2%.
A big reason White pitched the way he did to end the year was that his fastball increased in velocity, going from a tick under 94 mph to 95.6 mph and topping out at 97-98 mph. Paired with good secondary pitches like the sweeper, slider, and curveball, White established his heater as a weapon.
This Spring Training, White has a 5.84 ERA and a 5.88 FIP in 12.1 innings pitched, while his K% dropped to 14.5% and his BB% rose to 18.2%. His most recent game was this past Sunday, where he finished with a line of 3.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, but let’s take a deeper look, shall we?
When you boot up the game’s data via Baseball Savant, the first thing that immediately stands out is the fact he led the game in total whiffs with 18. It wasn’t a counting error, White had 18 whiffs on 38 total swings for a 47 whiff% in the game. Want proof? Well, I edited all 18 whiffs together in order, which you can watch below.
He threw 33 total fastballs, averaging 96 mph on the pitch (2.1 mph faster than last season) and maxing out at 97.8 mph. What’s interesting is that he had 19 total swings and nine whiffs for a 47% whiff%, a fantastic number, especially for the fastball.
The slider had four whiffs on eight total swings, the curveball had three whiffs on six total swings, the sinker had one whiff on two total swings, while the sweeper had one whiff on three total swings. The lowest whiff% on any pitch was the sweeper, and even then, it still had a 33 whiff%
The stuff is clearly there. White has great velocity for a starting pitcher, while the secondary pitches are no worse than average. What he’ll need to work on is his command and control, as a BB% above 12% just doesn’t play in the big leagues. If he can figure that out, maybe, just maybe, the Blue Jays will win this trade.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.


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