Casey Mize expecting less innings
Detroit Tigers’ rookie Casey Mize has been a revelation this season, proving he belongs in Major League Baseball with the best. However, after just a 60-game season last year the Tigers need to be cautious with how they use the youngster going forward in order to protect him in the long run.
The most innings he has ever thrown was 114 2/3 back in 2018, but he is already at 82 1/3 innings pitched this season with quite a lot of baseball left to be played. It remains to be seen how the Tigers will begin to manage and monitor his innings, but Mize knows his workload is soon going to be decreasing.
“I know that’s coming, which is going to be frustrating,” Mize said Sunday, after pitching five innings against the Los Angeles Angels, via the Detroit Free Press. “But I trust the people at the top making those decisions. I know it’s kind of necessary for this year. You’re seeing all the injuries that are going on, and it’s definitely alarming. I’m going to trust the people who make those decisions and do what they ask of me.”
Mize has looked impressive through his 14 starts this season with a 3.61 ERA, 1.117 WHIP, 24 walks and 66 strikeouts. He has made significant progress from last year where he had a 6.99 ERA over just 28 1/3 innings. He has been even better since the start of May, with a 2.91 ERA, which may be why he is so eager to continue pitching on a regular basis.
“I want to pitch, and I want to eat innings,” Mize said. “That’s something I take pride in, getting as many outs as possible and limiting runs. That’s what my goals are every day.”
The Tigers sit in dead last in the American League Central Division though and are looking at what is best for the long term future of the pitcher and the club. However, the Tigers are having issues staying healthy and their rotation has taken a hit with experienced starters Matthew Boyd and Spencer Turnbull both out of action until at least after the All-Star break.
Despite the injuries though, Tigers’ manager AJ Hinch wants his pitchers to have at least five or six days off between starts.
“I’m not going to bring back Casey, Tarik and Matt on regular rest unless I have to,” Hinch said, via the Detroit Free Press. “The (open) spot in the rotation is going to continue to roll forward. Even though we have an off-day on Monday we’re going to stay conservative with our young pitching and make sure they get as much rest as we can give them from start to start.”
It remains to be seen how exactly the Tigers will manage their rotation going forward and the impact it has on Mize, but for a team that has almost no chance of making the playoffs this season the focus is clearly on the future and what makes most sense in the long run.