Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize shockingly makes starting rotation

(Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers have continued to make the final cuts and final moves to round out their roster heading into the 2021 season. This is one of the more shocking moves made by the Tigers organization when they announced Casey Mize made the starting rotation.

For the Detroit Tigers, Casey Mize earned the last roster spot after his Spring Training was not the most flattering. His command was questionable, and it seemed like he really was not the top-flight pitcher that he has been marketed as over the years in the Tigers organization.

The Tigers’ former round one, pick one selection by the Tigers from the 2018 MLB Draft made his debut last season and will now find himself in the big leagues once again. The question is if Mize really deserved to start the year in the big leagues.

However, the other option that the Tigers have would be to demote Mize to Triple-A and hope he could figure things out. But the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens are not starting their season, so it will serve as the alternate training site, meaning that Mize would not be competing against opposing talents.

The Detroit Tigers have shockingly awarded Casey Mize with the final spot in the rotation.

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At Tigers Spring Training down in Lakeland, Mize has started four games and pitched in another, which has produced some pretty rough numbers. Mize had an 8.36 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP over the fourteen innings he has thrown.

Mize has not shown good command, allowing 17 hits, 13 earned runs, issuing 10 walks, but striking out 21 opposing hitters.

While Mize does have great stuff, the issue is that he has not been able to show that pinpoint command or even fastball command on both sides of the plate.

It is honestly surprising that Mize made the Tigers roster after the spring he had, but the best rationale would be to avoid leaving him stranded at the alternate training site.

The best explanation seems that Mize making the rotation is hoping that he can iron out his command issues in-game situations against live hitters.

After a non-lights out start in 2020 during the big leagues, the Tigers will give him another chance in 2021. Last year, in his debut, Mize played in seven games where he totaled 28.1 innings pitched where he had a 6.99 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.

He allowed 29 hits, issued 13 free passes, but also strike out 26 opposing hitters. In his first chances in the big leagues, Mize may not have been lights out but showed progress over the course of his seven starts. However, the Tigers opted to promote him, but they could have sent him to Triple-A.

If Mize were sent to Triple-A, he would not be able to get into these in-game situations against true opponents rather than scrimmaging his teammates. Keeping him at the alternate training site may not be the best move, so I understand the logic, but I am still pretty shocked overall.

After the Spring Training he has had so far, keeping him against non-MLB talent at the alternate training site/Toledo seemed like it might be the best move. A full reset and regroup for Mize might have been beneficial, but they opted to have him make the rotation.

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It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Casey Mize at the MLB level early in the 2021 season for the Detroit Tigers.