Detroit Tigers: An Ace up the Sleeve Reminds us of the Past

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers have an ace up their sleeve with Casey Mize turning heads left and right. The Tigers rising star has been putting on a show for the Tigers Double-A affiliate in his first two starts.

Some big news broke just over a week ago as Casey Mize was deemed ready to make the jump from Rookie ball to the Detroit Tigers Double-A affiliate. Soon after being called up, he threw a no-hitter in his first start with the Double-A Erie Seawolves.

Mize offers that glimpse of hope for the Detroit Tigers pitching staff in the future as well. Mize had a lot of hype built up after he was selected first overall by the Tigers last summer in the MLB first-year player draft.

During his time with the Tigers rookie ball affiliate this year, Mize managed a 2-0 record with 26.0 innings pitched. Mize only walked one batter and struck out 25 throughout the four starts, which is definitely worth being called up.

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Since his no-hitter, Mize has made one other start where he was only allowed to throw 5 innings, due to pitch count, as well as cold weather likely cutting the outing short. Motor City Bengals contributor Joe Kaverman, detailed this five-inning outing as “looking superior to the competition” and dominating though allowing two hits.

Personally having seen film and highlights of Mize, his pitching is going to be something special, he truly is the “ace up the sleeve” for the Tigers future pitching staff. Mize continues to turn heads and shock people as he carves up batters with his incredible repertoire which features both an un-hittable splitter and a beautiful and tight slider. Mize has a smooth delivery which allows him to sit with a high 90s fastball and induce a lot of swings which keeps his pitch count low for the most part which is ALWAYS a plus for a young arm.

Though he had only thrown 26.0 innings for the rookie ball affiliate, he had a 0.35 ERA and a 0.31 WHIP. Mize has proven that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with and no one has yet to crack the code for him, obviously, he most likely is not going to march to the big leagues with a sub-one ERA and WHIP, but he can pitch, and he is making that evident to the Tigers organization.

Here’s the thing that should make every Tigers fan extremely happy to have him in our system and not another team. He reminds me of a former Tiger great — Justin Verlander, yes, Justin Verlander. Now, Mize has not gotten the chance to start as many games as Verlander did in his first stint with the Double-A club, but Mize arguably looks to be even better than Verlander was at this time.

Verlander ultimately made thirteen starts with the rookie ball affiliate before being called up whereas Mize made only four starts. Verlander then made seven starts at the Double-A level before he was called up to the big league club to make two starts in 2005.

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Mize has been shattering Verlander’s performance, now the sample sizes are vastly different, and Mize has not reached the MLB roster yet, but with production like this, there is nothing saying he can’t make it to the MLB roster for some MLB reps sometime later this season. Keep an eye on this kid, the ace up the Tigers sleeve as he makes his way through the minor league affiliates on his way to the big league MLB roster.