Casey Mize was the Detroit Tigers first overall draft pick in 2018 for good reason. Mize, has quality stuff, electric stuff even. He has the pitches and mental makeup to be a staff ace. That is not what is in question. Spring training 2021, is seeing a trend with Casey Mize that needs to be reversed. Mize’s walks are up. It is just spring training, but this needs to be addressed.
When Casey Mize pitched at the University of Auburn, he rarely walked any batters. Also during his time in the Detroit Tigers minor leagues Mize walked just 26 batters in 123 minor league innings. This shows he is generally around the strike zone.
This spring has been a bit different. Dating back to last season when Mize made some starts for the Tigers he began to see a rise in walks. The Detroit Tigers need to give more attention to the potential future staff ace.
New Tigers pitch coach Chris Fetter, has been setting up schedules and working on pitching regimen’s for the entire Tigers organization’s pitchers. It has already paid off in Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd’s delivery. Body in releasing the ball a split second longer than last season and thus far in spring training the results have been improved
Back to Casey Mize, he was the first pick in the 2018 draft for a reason. He has the stuff. That is not the question. While Mize is barely missing the strike zone, he is still missing it. 3-2 walks are hurting him. This is indeed what spring training is for.
For any pitcher confidence is key. No matter starting pitcher of relief pitcher. It could hamper Mize’s development if he falls into bad habits that carry over into the season. No matter if he starts the season at Triple-A or in Detroit.
It should be noted this is not the time to worry. It is the time to address the rising walk issue and begin to get the young pitcher ready for the next phase in his development. Which I believe, Tigers manager A.J. Hinch and his staff will do.