Mitch White was one of the best representations of the type of depth the Dodgers front office built in the upper levels of the minors. The former second-round pick, entered this year after a strong 2021 rookie season in which he contributed 46⅔ solid innings in a variety of roles.
In many organizations, his 3.66 ERA, and a solid 24.9-percent strikeout rate as a rookie would have earned him the opportunity to at least compete for a rotation spot in spring training.
White made the opening day roster in 2022, but with six starting pitchers ahead of him on the depth chart, White was at the bottom of the pecking order, an arm for basically garbage-time work. The opportunities just weren’t there for a serviceable arm, and ultimately the fact that Tony Gonsolin, Tyler Anderson, and Andrew Heaney all performed well above expectations, was enough to lead the Dodgers to trade White in August to the Blue Jays for a couple of minor leaguers.
With injuries to Heaney and Walker Buehler, White was effective in his four months with the Dodgers, starting 10 of his 15 appearances. He had a 3.70 ERA but White’s strikeout rate dropped to 19.8 percent, well below league average.
With the pending return of Dustin May, and the need to make roster room for trade deadline acquisitions Chris Martin and Joey Gallo, White on August 2 was shipped off to Toronto, a team that needed back-of-the-rotation help. Minor league infielder Alex De Jesus went to the Jays with White in the trade, with Los Angeles receiving minor league pitchers Nick Frasso and Moises Brito.
Unfortunately for White, he struggled mightily in the Blue Jays, with 7.74 ERA in 43 innings, striking out just 15.3 percent of his batters faced. When opposing hitters are slashing .324/.371/.484 against you, there is something seriously wrong.
The good news for White is that because he isn’t yet arbitration eligible, and even with the Jays signing Chris Bassitt, they’re still likely to keep him around as an option with experience as a starter, and he’ll get a chance to erase or at least make up for that poor first impression.
There was never going to be enough room for him to carve a regular role with this Dodgers roster, so it’s probably a good thing he got that opportunity elsewhere.
Stats: 3.70 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 1.250 WHIP, 47 K, 56 IP w/Dodgers; 5.45 ERA, 3.87 FIP overall
Game of the year
In a shutout loss to the White Sox on June 7, White delivered five innings, allowing only two singles, no walks, and no runs, while striking out five, escaping a bases-loaded jam to end the fifth that kept the game scoreless at the time.
Mitch White is on the Blue Jays 40-man roster, and is out of options heading into 2023.