Detroit Tigers pitcher Casey Mize pitched out of a funk and onto the Tigers roster

It was a rough spring training for one of the Detroit Tigers top prospects, pitcher Casey Mize. Mize was hit hard almost all spring. While Mize was the one throwing the ball he was also doing what his manager and coach’s asked him to do. Work on his release and work on throwing a rising fastball, while on-the-job. The results were not always pretty. But with one final chance to make the opening day roster Mize came through.

I am of the opinion it would have done little to no good to send pitcher Casey Mize to Triple-a Toledo. Sure Mize could have had a few starts with the Mud Hens and perhaps honed his pitches a bit more. However, Mize is better served pitching in Detroit and figuring things out at the major league level.

LAKELAND, FL – FEBRUARY 27: Casey Mize (12) of the Tigers flips the baseball to himself during the Detroit Tigers spring training workout on February 27, 2021 at Tigertown in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

I believe, Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch and pitching coach Chris Fetter wanted to wait until the bitter end before deciding where to place Casey Mize. That is why he was given another opportunity to pitch Thursday night. Most young prospects would feel the pressure and perhaps Mize did, he also threw his best game of the spring.

In four innings of work Thursday night Casey Mize struck out 9 batters. All of his pitched found the strike zone including one that had eluded him well almost all spring, the rising fastball.

A.J. Hinch said in his second to last start there was little doubt Mize could get MLB batters out. But that Mize needed to be more consistent in the strike zone. Thursday night Mize did just that.

LAKELAND, FLORIDA – MARCH 19: Casey Mize #12 of the Detroit Tigers looks on prior to the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers during a spring training game at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 19, 2021 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

In my opinion this is not only the right move for the Tigers organization to make, but also for Mize and pitching coach Chris Fetter. By earning a roster spot A.J. Hinch is in effect saying that he trusts player and coach to make sure development is still moving forward.

Tarik Skubal, another Detroit Tigers top prospects made the starting pitching rotation earlier in the week. Now with Mize earning a spot this can do nothing but help the Tigers ongoing rebuild speed up.

Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch is “taking the kid gloves off” young pitchers

When current Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch took over as manager of a young Houston Astros team who was starting to come out of a long rebuild (sound familiar?) he did so by unleashing the young Astros pitching staff. He did not limit pitches or put inning limits on the staff. Now on the first day of spring training, Hinch said he is going to do the same with young Tigers pitchers.

Just yesterday, Detroit Tigers General Manager, Al Avila said this will be the season that Matt Manning will be pitching in Detroit. Be it out of spring training or at some point early in the season. Manning will join top organization prospects Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal giving the Tigers and the fan base a true look at the future.

DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 29: Rookie pitcher Tarik Skubal #42 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the third inning of game two of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on August 29, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. Skubal recorded his first major league win in the Tigers 4-2 victory over the Twins. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled for August 28 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to Friday’s postponed game, Robinson will be honored during today’s game. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Back to A.J. Hinch. This would appear on the surface to be a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Meaning, If “taking the kid gloves off” young Tigers pitching prospects worked in Houston then Hinch is hedging a bet it will work again in Detroit.

New Tigers pitching coach Chris Fetter will be charged with overseeing the talented group of young arms. Yet, Fetter will be getting instructions from Hinch. The age old question in baseball is how do you handle young pitchers?

Both Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, spent time with the Tigers last summer. Both top pitching prospects took the typical rookie pitching lumps. With time under their belts the two enter spring training with a spot in the Tigers starting rotation.

CHICAGO – AUGUST 19: Casey Mize #12 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during his Major League debut against the Chicago White Sox on August 19, 2020 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)

Like the Detroit Tigers veteran pitchers, Mize and Skubal will not be limited. A.J. Hinch feels that the way young pitchers get better is by innings pitched and allowing the pitcher to fall flat on their face when they have a bad outing. That is how pitchers learn.

This is one storyline to keep an eye on during spring training and into the 2021 Detroit Tigers season.

The Detroit Tigers lost again, but pitcher Casey Mize shows promise

Casey Mize had a nice first day on the job. In his major league debut Mize pitched 4.1 innings striking out seven Chicago White Sox hitters while not issuing a single walk. Not bad at all for the Detroit Tigers No. 2 ranked prospect.

As Mize was advertised on the mound he did make a costly mistake. One that Mize brought up after the game. The Detroit Tigers took the lead and Mize gave the lead back to Chicago. Such is the life of a rookie pitcher.

In the 119 years of Detroit Tigers baseball no Detroit pitcher has ever had a debut of seven strikeouts and no walks. Not Hal Newhouse, Denny McLain, Mickey Lolich, Mark Fydrich or even Justin Verlander and Jack Morris, all of whom are Tigers pitching legends.

Despite a few misses, Mize showed good command of the strike zone. Painting the corners, giving up a second inning home run can unglue young pitchers in a hurry. Mize gave up a second inning home run to the White Sox Edwin Encarnacion, the young pitcher seemed to dig in and make some adjustments.

For the Detroit Tigers and the fans base, Casey Mize’s may have had the most highly anticipated Tigers debut since 2005 when Justin Verlander first took the mound in the Motor City.

Casey Mize had a great poker face during his debut, his confidence was on display, but he also showed focus and refocus. Mize displays four plus pitches that gives him the upper hand and will surely show its self as he continues to pitch and gets into a five day routine.

While the Tigers lost as a team, one of the organizations top prospects took the mound for the first in what looks to be a long time to come. Casey Mize was very solid in his debut.

He should be fun to watch the rest of the season.

Detroit Tigers No. 2 prospect Casey Mize to pitch tonight, Tarik Skubal’s rude awakening

Casey Mize was drafted first overall in the 2018 MLB draft. Having shot through the Detroit Tigers minor league system it is time for Mize to make his major league debut tonight as the Tigers take on the Chicago White Sox.

From the day he was drafted Detroit Tigers pitcher Casey Mize became the face of the Tigers rebuild. Pressure? Sure anytime a player is tabbed as “the next great thing,” there is pressure. Do no tell Casey Mize, he is not listening.

Mize has put in his work in the Tigers farm system. Last season in his Double-A (Erie Seawolves) debut, Mize went out and tossed a no-hitter. Mize is always tinkering with his pitch’s. One pitch he does not work on is his split-finger-fastball. Which is Mize’s “out pitch.”

Casey Mize is not wide-eyed heading into his first MLB start. Having been groomed for this type of spotlight since his college days at Auburn, Mize pitched in the tough SEC.

Mize’s pitching counter part and fellow Detroit top prospect Tarik Skubal, faced the White Sox last night and did not have a fairy tale start. Skubal who has not pitched against Double-A and has just  two years of pro ball experience was given a baptism by fire.

Skubal clearly feeling the nerves pitched outside of his norm. Nerves will do that to even the great pitchers in the game. After the game Tarik Skubal said he knew what he did wrong and vowed to work on those thing in between start.

Both Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal have the stuff and mental makeup to quickly move past a bad start. They project as long term pitchers for the Detroit Tigers for the foreseeable future.

There will be growing pains. Not just for Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Isaac Paredes. But also for the other top Tigers prospects as they approach the major leagues right up to the time they are wearing the Old English D.

Each prospect will have good days and not so good days until they find the consistency needed to play day in and day out.

Casey Mize looks ready to join the Detroit Tigers pitching rotation

Embed from Getty Images Casey Mize,  is one of the Tigers top pitching prospects,  although he was slated to spend this season in Triple A Toledo with the Mud Hens before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the plans could change. Casey Mize has put on a show during summer camp.

Detroit Tigers manager manager Ron Gardenhire put it as plain as he could and did not mince his words, “Yeah. I’d like to have him (on the roster) right now,” Gardenhire said. “We know the protocol and what we’re trying to do here, step by step. I just think he’s very poised. He knows what he needs to do and wants to do and it’s fun watching him pitch.

“He’s in control and he has a great plan on what he needs to do to be successful. He’s moving really quick and for me, it can’t be quick enough. I like him a lot.”

It is worth noting that Mize could really use some Triple A seasoning. But because there is no minor baseball due to the current pandemic it could force the Tigers hand. The Tigers could also choose to allow Casey Mize to continue to develop with the 30 man taxi squad that will continue training in Toledo after the season begins on July 24 in Cincinnati.

One thing Detroit Tigers fans need to know about Casey Mize is although his frame (6′ 3″) does not project, his stuff does. Mize is always tinkering with his pitches. Trying to get the max out of each one. Mize is a pitching rat.

Fellow top Detroit Tigers  Matt Manning does have a frame that projects. Manning ( 6′ 6″) is also on target for Detroit. However, because Casey Mize boarders on obsessive when it comes to getting his pitches just right, he is slightly ahead of Manning.

Even if the Detroit Tigers use Casey Mize as a backup plan (in case of emergency) Tigers fans can begin to see the future sooner than later.

Is Matt Manning the Detroit Tigers top prospect?

Embed from Getty Images Casey Mize? Matt Manning? Exactly who is the Detroit Tigers top prospect? The two pitchers are both dynamic and will play a HUGE role in the Tigers future. It is almost silly to pick between the two, yet that is what we are going to look at.

Casey Mize has hellacious stuff. Mize has a four-pitch offering. Fastball, slider, change up and a wicked split-finger-fastball. Every pitch Mize throws is capable of missing bats.

FanGraph’s just released it’s list of Detroit Tigers top prospects. The site lists Matt Manning as the organizations top prospect heading into the 2020 season. Manning tops the list seems to indicate  his development rather than Mize’s shortcomings. Manning has, in FanGraphs’ words, “become the dream.”

Matt Manning has an athletic frame with a fastball that tops out at 98 mph. Both Manning’s fastball and curveball received plus grades, and his developing changeup also received praise. “Manning is tracking like an All-Star starter and a potential top-of-the-rotation arm,” the FanGraph scouts concluded.

The good news for the pitching rich Detroit Tigers system is it boasts of two top line starters. One just edging the other one out of the top spot. Both Casey Mize and Matt Manning are expected to be in Detroit at some point this season.

Detroit Tigers prospect Casey Mize wasted no time in being promoted

Embed from Getty Images The anticipation, has been met. Detroit Tigers top prospect Casey Mize needed just four starts at Single-A to show he simply did not belong. The buzz remained. Not just for Mize, but for the organization’s pitching prospects as a whole, including right-handers Matt Manning and Alex Faedo.

“Have you seen what these guys are doing in the minors?” pitching coach Rick Anderson asked the Detroit media last Wednesday afternoon. The Detroit Tigers decided  to promote Mize to Double-A Erie. Casey Mize, 21, allowed one run on seven hits in 26 innings for Class A Lakeland, posting an 0.35 ERA and 0.308 WHIP in four starts. He struck out 25 batters and walked one.

Upon doing so the Eris Seawolves now have Mize, as well as first-round draft picks Matt Manning (2016) and Alex Faedo (2017). It goes without saying Erie has one of the minor leagues’ most formidable starting rotations. “Being part of that rotation is really cool,” Casey Mize said. “I know what we could be capable of.”

The promotion of Mize leaves the possibility he could receive another by the end of the season, to Triple-A Toledo, where he will face more refined hitters, and potentially receive a September, Detroit call-up.  The Detroit Tigers,  though they made an early move, will not push the issue. Only saying they want all prospects to feel good before moving them along in the system.

It is  more likely that Mize pitches with the SeaWolves for the majority of this season, perhaps finishing up with a few starts in Toledo, which in turn could put him in line to compete for a starting rotation with the Tigers next season.

“By the time we get to next year, I think he’ll be pushing the envelope,”  Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. The last Detroit the last Tigers pitcher with similar age, ability, and experience  Justin Verlander skipped Toledo entirely.

While things are rough in Detroit. The Tigers minor league prospects are putting on a show. Now with three of the teams top pitching prospects in Erie PA things are looking up for the Tigers even more.


Casey Mize impresses during Spring training

Embed from Getty Images Eight months after being drafted number one overall in the 2018 MLB draft. Detroit Tigers rookie Casey Mize wowed during the opening of Spring training. The Tigers have found their future ace.

Casey Mize was a non-roster invite to the big league Tigers camp. He is expected to shoot through the minor leagues. This past Tuesday the Detroit Tigers saw up close just what Mize can do.

103 mph. That is what the speed gun read after Mize wound up an threw his first pitch. Tiger coaches and catchers were in awe. The Detroit Tigers have not had a rookie that did that since Justin Verlander.

Sure hitting 103 mph does not mean future success is sure to follow. However with Casey Mize it is a bit different. He threw strike after strike. at 21 years old in his first big league camp Casey was not phased.

He dipped into all of his pitches. Not only did he throw them all, fastball, curve, slider, changeup, split finger fastball. He had control over all of them. Pop after pop from the catcher’s mitt.

The legend of Casey Mize is already growing. “he is one of the first ones here in the morning and one of the last ones to leave.” Tigers pitching coach Rick Anderson said. Something you do not see in a lot of young players.

Casey Mize is slated to begin the season in Lakeland with the Flying Tigers. Weather will dictate when he moves to Erie P.A. and the Seawolves. In other words not very long.

Casey Mize is expected to arrive in Toledo with the Mud Hens this season. He has all the tools. Matt Manning also has all the tools. Alex Faedo and Franklin Perez have all the tools. Leading the media (in and outside Detroit) to call the four young Tigers pitches the “Fearsome Foursome.”

Right now it is all about Mize. How is destined for greatness. Along the lines of Detroit Tigers greats Hall of Famer Jack Morris and the aforementioned Justin Verlander.

The good news for the Detroit Tigers is there is no need to rush these fantastic prospects. The team is two years away from spending money again. So Detroit can let the pitchers and others develop and then bring them all up together.

The Detroit Tigers pitching prospects look an awful lot like the 1990’s Atlanta Braves pitching staff. That is very good news.


Detroit Tigers pitching prospect Casey Mize is the No. 2 rated prospect

Embed from Getty Images Pitching is generally not an issue in Detroit. The next wave of great Tigers pitchers will arrive in Motown over the next two years. Leading the way is last June’s No. 1 overall draft pick. Casey Mize.


MLB Pipeline last Tuesday released their annual top 10 prospects. Detroit Tigers fans should be both happy and excited to find form Auburn University and top Detroit Tigers pick Casey Mize came in at No. 2. Over some big names.


Casey Mize has the highest floor in the top 10. Standing 6′ 3″ 220 lbs, Mize has the most combination of stuff and polish. His unhittable split finger fastball gives way to a 97 mph fastball and a slider in the mid-80’s. Last season while at Lakeland with the Flying Tigers, Mize added a cutter to his already above average offering.


This is great news for the rebuilding Detroit Tigers. Many are thinking Casey Mize will arrive at some point this Summer at Comerica Park. Tigers general manager Al Avila has said only if he is ready. Look for Mize to start the season at Double-A Erie with the Seawolves.


This is absolutely the right move to make. The team is still two years away from jumping back into competitive play again. No need to rush any prospect. Allowing a prospect time to grown and gain confidence is important to longevity as well as overall performance.


Tigers fans will also be happy to hear that pitching prospect Franklin Perez is sitting just outside the top 10. Until the Tigers are ready to roar again, fans need to keep close tabs on the minor leagues to get an ideal of how good this team is going to look very soon.


For some this rebuild seems to be taking a long time. When in reality it is not. Savvy trades and smart draft picks have actually sped up the painstakingly long task of gutting a team and building a new one.


The Detroit Tigers future is bright and will get even brighter as the team begins to sign big name free agents most likely starting next season to put around their young talent.

Detroit Tigers: select Casey Mize

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Tigers, already with a good group of pipeline pitchers added the best pitcher in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft.  University of Auburn pitcher Casey Mize.

His 2.95 ERA is good. However, what pops off the stat sheet is 151 strikeouts while only walking 12 batters. Casey Mize has pinpoint contol. That is very good news.

Mize, was widely viewed as the best player in the draft. The Detroit Tigers already stockpiled with pitching prospects added an absolute gem. A four pitch (three of them plus) Casey’s bread and butter is his split finger fastball.

What is impressive is that Mize does not rely on one pitch. He throws them all. Now he has the makeup and charater to take his place along former Detroit pitchers Mickey Lolich,  2018 MLB all of Fame inductee Jack Morris and Justin Verlander.

Tiger fans should not think Casey Mize is Verlander 2.0. He is Casey Mize 1.0. That should be beyond good enough. As soon as 2020 the Tigers starting rotaion should be:

Casey Mize

Franklin Perez

Beau Burrows

Matt Manning

Alex Faedo

That is a fantastic group of pitchers all of whom sport plus pitches. By drafting Mize the Detroit Tigers have now sped up the rebuild. Mize very well could be in Motown at some point next season.