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Tigers shutting down Casey Mize after reaching innings limit

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News
Detroit Tigers No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize

The Tigers have decided their 2018 first-round pick, right-handed pitcher Casey Mize, has done enough competitive pitching for one year.

They are excusing him from minor-league games after he started five times, spanning 13.2 innings, with his last four starts on behalf of their Single-A Lakeland team.

Mize's arm and health are fine, the Tigers say. But after he threw 114.2 innings this season at Auburn, he has reached his ceiling, in his bosses' view.

"He's been throwing since last October, and he's wearing down, running out of gas," said Dave Littlefield, the Tigers' vice president of player personnel. "As we said when he first signed, we wanted him only to throw 15 or 20 innings, something in that range, and we're very comfortable with the decision."

More: Tigers' Casey Mize cracks Baseball America's top 100 at No. 18

Mize was generally effective in his five starts, which featured six runs, 14 strikeouts, and three walks.

The Tigers now will work him at their Lakeland minor-league headquarters but will not have him throw in any additional games.      

"He'll do strength and conditioning, PFP (pitchers' fielding practice), and chalk talks," Littlefield said. "Then he'll be with us for Instructional League. And that's the right thing to do. 

"The scouts see the stuff, and the velocity. He's very focused and committed to getting better. It's a level of maturity you rarely see."

Mize, 21, is 6-foot-3, 220 pounds. He was the first player taken in the 2018 draft and signed with the Tigers for $7.5 million.