The Detroit Tigers are putting the finishing on Spring Training as Opening Day comes into focus for the team. While Casey Mize may not be taking the ball for the first game of the season, he’s been putting in work to ensure that he can make the most of his starts.
The big thing that Detroit Tigers fans can expect from Mize in the 2022 season is an improvement. Part of this is going to come from his ability to bring the splitter back into his repertoire.
It was a calling card of his abilities during his team in the NCAA ranks. But he sort of abandoned it by the time he got to the big league, making his debut during the 2020 season. He threw just 97 splitters in 2020 and started to try and work it back into the mix in 2021, throwing 312.
Now as the 2022 season comes into view, it seems that Mize is going to start mixing it in, even more, looking to utilize it in place of a changeup, beefing up his pitch mix even more. Battery mate Tarik Skubal has been looking to do the same thing by working on the two-breaking ball setup to complete a four-pitch mix.
Detroit Tigers Casey Mize looking to use a splitter in place of a changeup in 2022.
In his Spring Training starts, Mize has been testing out the splitter once again. After striking out six batters of three innings of work in a recent Spring Training contest against the New York Yankees, it was a pitch used for swings and misses and looked good from the buzz it got on Twitter.
His splitter averaged 36.8 inches of vertical drop and 12.1 inches of horizontal break in 2021. The whiffs are aplenty and if Mize can utilize this pitch as a part of his repertoire in 2022 even more than he has been, he can unlock a new way to attack hitters. (Data courtesy of Baseball Savant)
It’s a figurative matter of fact for Mize. Adding in the splitter will allow him to work north/south even more than east/west. He already is able to work the breaking balls east/west at times and adding in this changeup should help him get whiffs, and in turn, strikeouts more often.
Mize is coming off of a 2021 season where he made 30 starts, totaling 150.1 innings pitched with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP to his credit. He also went on to punch out 118 opposing hitters along the way as well.
If Mize can perform with similar stats in 2022 and see the number of strikeouts rise, it will be a victory for the Tigers. Adding in the splitter more often should allow him to accomplish this as well.