Day one of the 2021 MLB Draft the Detroit Tigers select two pitchers

Relax Detroit Tigers fans the sky is not falling, Al Avila is not that bad at his job. Detroit Tigers fans and media all shocked that the organization did not select a short stop (SS) in the first round of the MLB Draft can all exhale now. The Detroit Tigers were among the day 1 winners. The two pitchers selected will bolster an already good crop of pitching prospects for the Tigers.

LAKELAND, FL – FEBRUARY 17: A detailed view of baseballs and equipment bag sitting on the field during the Detroit Tigers spring training workout day at the TigerTown complex on February 17, 2014 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

With the first of the team two first round draft pick the team selected pitcher, Jackson Jobe. Jobe is a rare high school (prep) pitcher selected in the top 10 of the annual draft. The reason is clear, Jobe has a wipeout slider and grades at or near the top of pitching arms in this years draft class. Blessed with a quick arm and solid improvement in his secondary pitches the 18 year old was simply too good for the Tigers to pass up.

Is there risk with drafting Jobe? Sure, but isn’t any draft pick a risk? The upside is as I said far too good to pass up. Jobe’s  athletic delivery that translates into strikes justifies the risk.

Next because the Detroit Tigers are in rebuild mode and did not make the playoffs last season they were awarded a second first round draft pick (competitive balance pick) at #32 where the organization dipped once again into the pitching prospect ranks.

This time it was pitcher Ty Madden who heard his name called. Where to start with Madden? Much like last years draft when the team had catcher Dillion Dingler fall into their lap, Madden who was widely considered at top 10 draft pick and is ranked #9. MLBPipeline had Madden ranked as the third best college pitcher. Madden fell into the Tigers lap at #32.

Ty Madden, bring a lot to the future of the Detroit Tigers pitching with a 99 MPH fastball, a sinker that sits at 90 MPH and a biting 80 MPH slider. Madden could work his way into the Tigers starting rotation in time.

BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 02: A bucket with baseballs on the field before a baseball game between Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays on August 2, 2020 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Short stop or not the Detroit Tigers were a better organization after the first round of the draft. With big name short stops set to hit the free agent market after the conclusion of the season the Tigers could bring one of those in to fill a need.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Casey Mize working on command during spring training

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.

LAKELAND, FL – FEBRUARY 15: Casey Mize #74 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during Spring Training workouts at the TigerTown Facility on February 15, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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.

LAKELAND, FL – FEBRUARY 12: A detailed view of a Detroit Tigers baseball hat and Rawlings glove sitting on the field during Spring Training workouts at the TigerTown Facility on February 12, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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.

Detroit Tigers Matt Manning fires two scoreless innings in spring training, what it does and does not mean

Yesterday the Detroit Tigers #3 ranked prospect, pitcher Matt Manning had a good showing. Sure it is only spring training. But, for Manning and the Detroit Tigers this is an encouraging step in the young pitches development. Manning is one of the prospects who will lead the charge out of the Tigers rebuild.

No matter if it is spring training or a regular season game, prospects tend to allow the game and moment to be bigger than them. That is why when Detroit Tigers prospect Matt Manning took to the bump yesterday, he had all eyes on him.

LAKELAND, FL – FEBRUARY 12: Matt Manning #83 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during Spring Training workouts at the TigerTown Facility on February 12, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Manning did not let the moment be to big for himself. Instead he was calm, cool, and collected. Manning was firing strikes all over the strike zone. A very good sign. His fastball had life and was popping. Manning has always had a nasty curveball, which he showed off as well.

As I stated Matt Manning is the Detroit Tigers #3 ranked prospect, he is the #25 ranked prospect in all of baseball per MLBPipeline. Manning has a very smooth delivery and his  mechanics are generally spot on.

Matt Manning has a slider that bites in on hitters as well as the nasty 12 to 6 curveball he mixes in with a changeup and his fastball. Yesterday, Manning faced the Philadelphia Phillies for two innings. He did not give up a run and made a nice bare-handed play as well.

Manning’s fastball sits between 97-98 MPH. Yesterday he threw it 92-93 MPH, as many pitchers generally hold back a little during spring training. What stood out yesterday was just how good and how effective both his slider and curveball are. In fact he got two swing-and-misses with his curve.

It is a safe bet Matt Manning makes his first appearance in Detroit this season. He is one prospect Tigers fans have been waiting for. Sure Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal are as well, but both pitchers pitched for the Tigers last season.

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 04: A detailed view of the baseball glove and hat used by Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers sitting in the dugout during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on September 4, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Royals defeated the Tigers 7-6. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Once Manning gets his feet wet in the major leagues, the Detroit Tigers will be a step closer to ending a long rebuild.



The Detroit Tigers believe Franklin Perez still has a future role

Franklin Perez was one of the crown jewels of the 2017 trade that sent longtime Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros. Injuries derailed Perez’s development. The young pitcher threw just 27 innings due to injuries. Now healthy, the Tigers believe Franklin Perez has a future spot in the teams starting rotation.

At just 22 years old it is way to early to give up on Franklin Perez. When he arrived as part of the Verlander package, Perez was a top 10 prospect in the Detroit Tigers minor league system. Injuries and time missed saw Perez fall in the rankings and land at No. 14.

Perez’s pitch’s suggest he can be a solid three or four pitcher in  the Tigers rotation. If it were another team he could be a number two starter. The Tigers with excellent pitching prospects which includes Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning may actually see Perez at four.

When healthy, Franklin Perez is very talented. The young right handed pitcher,   showed a lot of potential in summer camp, but his fastball was stuck in the low 90s and his command was off at times. There were still moments where Perez gave reminders of just how good he can be.

Once Perez can clean up his wildness and consistently throw the ball around the plate he should arrive in Detroit. The future of the Tigers starting rotation already looks solid. Throw a healthy, confident Franklin Perez into the mix and the Detroit pitching staff of the future looks downright scary.

DETROIT – MAY 4: Exterior of Comerica Park is pictured before the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox on May 4, 2005 in Detroit, Michigan. The Red Sox defeated the Tigers 4-3. (Photo by Rich Pilling /MLB via Getty Images)

It is not out of the question all four of the Detroit Tigers top pitching prospects arrive at Comerica Park next season. However that shakes out. The Tigers are just about ready to remake the 2020 worst pitching staff in MLB and replace it with young talented pitchers eager to prove themselves.

When this happens fans will be able to finally see a light at the end of the long rebuild.

Jordan Zimmermann may have thrown his last pitch for the Detroit Tigers

Embed from Getty Images Free agency is a gamble. The Detroit Tigers have signed players who have elevated their own play as well as the play of the team. Unfortunately that has not been the case with pitcher Jordan Zimmermann.

The Detroit Tigers have placed veteran right handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann on the 45 day injured list with a right forearm strain. Prior to the 2016 season, the Tigers signed Zimmermann to a five year $110 million dollar contract. Zimmermann looked dominant first month in Detroit. Then it started to fall apart.

Last season Jordan Zimmermann went 1-13 with a 6.91 ERA. The MLB season is 60 games this year due to COVID-19. Zimmermann hopes to return by the end of the 2020 season.

By placing the oft injured pitcher on the 45 day DL and not the 10, (it is said Zimmermann preferred), the Detroit Tigers opened a spot for one of their non roster invitees. This seasons 45 day DL is equivalent to last year’ s 60 day DL.

While it has not worked out for Jordan Zimmermann on the field and his contract looks really bad, there is a silver lining in all of this. Zimmermann has worked and helped other Detroit Tigers pitchers. Michael Fulmer, Matthew Boyd and Daniel Norris to name a few have benefited from Zimmermann’s help and mentorship.

Sometimes free agency works well and when it does not, it sticks out. You can not solely blame Jordan Zimmermann for the unraveling that took place while he has been in Detroit. He simply took the money the Tigers offered.

Jordan Zimmermann was one of the game’s top starting pitchers when he signed a deal with the Detroit Tigers. There is no going back only a look ahead. For both Zimmermann and the Tigers organization. As it seems likely Zimmerman has thrown his last pitch in Detroit.

Daniel Norris is finding consistency and the Detroit Tigers are happy

Embed from Getty Images Oft injured Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris was always thought of as a pitch who could…if only. Daniel, has always been thought of as a middle of the rotation pitchers. Inconsistency and injuries have kept him from reaching his potential. Until this spring.

Daniel Norris fresh off of three scoreless innings against the Boston Red Sox starters, has Daniel Norris and the Detroit Tigers satisfied with how far the pitcher has come.

Norris finally over three injury plagued seasons has made an adjustment to his overall pitching delivery. It has helped the pitchers velocity. A velocity that now sits 90-93 mph according to spring training radar guns.

Heading into spring training Norris was both a question mark and he was uncertain to make the final cut. Thanks in large part to promising young pitchers in the Detroit system. Daniel Norris would have to earn a spot.

Norris’s spring resurgence has put him in the conversation to break camp with the Tigers and not be assigned to Toledo. Once a starting pitcher. Detroit is looking to place the left hander in the bullpen.

In part this would help to keep the pitcher healthy. As he would only pitch a 1-3 innings. This way he can better serve the team.  Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire is going to let the pitching sort itself out.

Starter, relievers, closer. Gardenhire said all decisions will be made in the best interest of the team. Daniel Norris does not care when and where he pitches from. The fact that he has been rapidly improving is positive.

The fact that after a few rough spring outings, Norris is even in the Tigers pitching plans is remarkable. He seems to have a new found confidence with his consistent performances. Daniel Norris has worked hard to get full extension on his delivery.

Being a team player, Daniel said he talked with Gardenhire and Tigers pitching coaching Rick Anderson about his role. “I told them I just want to help the team.”

Finally healthy, finding consistency Daniel Norris is ready to help his team.

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.

Detroit Tigers prospect Gregory Soto

Embed from Getty Images The rebuilding Tigers have a late bloomer and he just so happens to be a left hander. Did I mention he is also a power pitcher?

Gregory Soto, his fastball touches 95 mph and has incredible movement on it. It almost acts like a slide. Soto, also throws a slider. He is a big power arm.
The Detroit Tigers have long coveted big thick bodied power arms in the organization. Soto fits that bill. He was signed as and 18 year old and had a rough start leading many to believe he would eventually wind up in the bullpen.
Alas last season Soto put it all together in Grand Rapids, with the West Michigan Whitecaps. Gregory finished the season 10-1 with a 2.25 era. He needs to cut back on the walls. But he is making good progress.
It is easy to see Gregory Soto as part of the future Detroit Tigers pitching staff. With all the right handed power pitchers the organization has Soto is a good asset to have. As left handed power pitcher are hard to come by.
I am very excited to see how he preforms and progresses this season. I am hoping he takes another step forward. The Detroit Tigers are as well.