Unless the Detroit Tigers decide to elevate Major League Baseball’s top pitching prospect, this is going to be a very long, drawn-out summer in Motown.
I can’t imagine the Detroit Tigers would elevate their top prospect Casey Mize but if they did it would be for a brief stint during the September call-ups. The Tigers are not providing the fans much at all to cheer about. As last season was progressing, many mentioned the team hadn’t hit rock bottom yet, well, they were correct. The good news is the 2019 season should be rock bottom; it will progressively get better and better starting next season.
Could Casey Mize pitch in Detroit today? Absolutely. His stats in double-A are very impressive. He’s coming off another stellar start going eight innings, not allowing a run while striking out six. His first start in Erie he tossed a no-hitter. The kid is spectacular; he reminds me so much of Justin Verlander, the hype, excitement, etc. In six starts he’s 4-0 with an ERA of 1.40, through 38.2 innings of work he’s fanned 35 and owns a WHIP of 0.750, incredible.
If the Detroit Tigers were contenders or a fringe playoff team, Mize would likely already be in the Tigers rotation. Being one of the worst teams in the league with not many bright spots on the current roster the team will bring their young star along slowly also not burning any MLB service time for no reason.
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Leaving Mize in the minors will allow the Tigers to control his contract longer, hopefully having him anchor the rotation for many years when the team becomes competitive before he is able to cash in on a massive contract. For business purposes, it makes sense; for the fans, it sucks because there isn’t much to cheer about at the moment.
While the Tigers have plenty of other young pitching prospects to be excited about; Matt Manning, Alex Faedo, Franklin Perez & Beau Burrows. There are plenty of arms to track in the minors this season, but not nearly enough high-end positional prospects. Jake Rogers is the Tigers top catching prospect, and he could easily be playing in Detroit right now producing more than Grayson Greiner. It seems the team is committed to Greiner this year.
A couple of non-pitching prospects to track in the minors are outfielders Parker Meadows, Daz Cameron (yes the son of former big leaguer Mike). Infielding prospects Kody Clemons (son of Roger), Isaac Paredes.
In Detroit, many of the players we see now won’t likely be around when the Tigers are a playoff team once again. Something has to give, no one on the team is hitting well maybe Manager Ron Gardenhire should consider firing the teams’ hitting coach? It’s clearly not working Lloyd McClendon was once a sought after managerial candidate during his time working in his current positon under Jim Leyland.
He accepted the Seattle Mariners but it was merely a brief stop before being fired and returning to the Tigers under Brad Ausmus. He’s been a holdover from the last regime, it’s time Gardenhire shakes things up. A minor move would be relieving Phil Clark of his duties as assistant hitting coach. Something to at least think about.
Expect Shane Greene, along with Nicholas Castellanos to be moved around the deadline maybe even Matt Boyd. The team is expected to be willing to move anyone on the current roster if they can find a deal, no one who is currently in Detroit is untouchable in exchange for prospects. That tells you exactly how bad it is at the moment. Although it will be another long summer in Detroit, the team will be able to land another top-five potentially the first pick in the draft for next year.