Detroit Tigers: Eduardo Rodríguez likely will not outdo Casey Mize as ace

(Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers opened things up in the free-agent market after they went out and signed starting pitcher Eduardo Rodríguez to a multi-year contract. The Tigers grabbed him at a bargain deal where he will join the rotation for the next five seasons.

The hope is that he will be an integral part of the Detroit Tigers rotation for years to come and continue to produce solid numbers and be consistent as he has been. The Tigers seemed to be thrilled with their signing and what it will bring to the starting rotation.

But, looking ahead, when Opening Day 2022 rolls around, it’s hard to think that Rodríguez is going to be given the ball as the team’s starting pitcher. Casey Mize is going to have the “ace” role in the rotation on lock.

Now, I’m here to put a twist on that. Mize is going to be number one in the rotation, but Rodríguez is going to be the “ace” of the staff even if he is not given the ball on opening day. The hope is that Mize is going to become this more than proven ace and anchor the rotation, but right now, Rodríguez is going to give him a run for his money.

Detroit Tigers pitchers Eduardo Rodríguez and Casey Mize are going to battle.

Looking at last season, Rodríguez was one of the most quality pieces of the Red Sox location for the last six seasons. Rodríguez has made 32 starts where he posted a 4.74 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP, and produced 185 strikeouts over 157.2 innings pitched.

He missed all of the 2020 season due to a COVID-19 complication that led to a heart issue. But when he has been healthy, the Red Sox have benefitted with his pitching, and he’s been great. He’s going to be a quality addition to the Tigers’ starting rotation.

Mize, who’s the team’s standing “ace,” wrapped up his second season in the big leagues in 2021. It was his first time going through an entire 162-game season. He would make 30 starts after having a few starts limited during the season.

He pitched to a 3.71 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and would add 118 strikeouts to his numbers over 150.1 innings pitched. He truly made strides and looked more like the pitcher the Tigers had expected from him.

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Given that Mize fits into that ace role, he may just wind up getting the ball when Opening Day comes around next season. But Rodríguez is surely going to give him a run for his money. It will be interesting to see how this turns out come Spring.