Mitre expects easy transition thanks to Kranitz

Mitre expects easy transition thanks to Kranitz

Mitre expects easy transition thanks to Kranitz
PHOENIX -- Recently acquired right-hander Sergio Mitre worked 2 2/3 innings in his Brewers debut on Monday, and he figures his transition will be an easy one.

When Mitre was traded from the Yankees to the Brewers on Friday, it began his third stint with pitching coach Rick Kranitz, who also had Mitre in the Cubs organization and in the Majors with the Marlins.

"He knows me very well, just about every inch of my mechanics," Mitre said. "It's not [ideal] that I come into a new team this late in spring, but it works out because he kind of knows what I'm about. He can pick things out if there is something wrong."

Mitre will begin the season as the Brewers' designated long reliever, but he's also an option to start the first time they need a fifth starter in place of the injured Zack Greinke.

Whatever Kranitz & Co. ask him to do, Mitre is fine with it.

"I'm not here to demand a role," he said. "I was brought over here because there are certain needs, and whatever they feel I'll work best at, that's what I'm going to do."

He's on the same page with his new bosses in one aspect: the importance of the sixth inning. The Brewers struggled during that frame last season, out-scored by opponents, 111-65 -- their largest deficit of any inning.

General manager Doug Melvin called it, "one of the toughest innings in the game today."

"I think he's absolutely right," Mitre said. "Whether a team is getting beat or the game is tied, the first guy out of the chute is the guy who needs to hit the brakes. I take pride in whatever role I'm going to be in, whether it's a starter or coming out of the bullpen.

"All I'm about now," Mitre said, "is winning games. I'm up for anything."

He allowed three hits in Monday's debut, including a Will Venable home run that cut the Brewers' lead to one in an eventual 5-4 win. It was his first outing in six days, and he conceded there was some expected stiffness.

"It's never easy, but it's definitely a little more difficult trying to make the move this late in spring," he said.

"I think the most important thing on a team is friendship, camaraderie, togetherness, and it's tough to try and do that when you show up with two days left in spring. It shouldn't be too difficult to acclimate with these guys."