Houston — The Tigers’ top prospect, right-hander Casey Mize, has been shut down for the remainder of the season.
General manager Al Avila made it clear that even though Mize had battled some shoulder fatigue in July, the decision to shut him down was not related to any injury.
“There’s no issue at all,” Avila said. “We are just being extra careful. It was just our thinking that, he’s pitched dominantly most of the season and we feel at this point there’s no need to take any chances. We’re being very conservative with our top prospect.”
Mize, 22, pitched 13.2 innings last season after the Tigers took him with the first overall pick in the draft. This season, between High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie, he made 21 starts and threw 109.1 innings. He posted an 8-3 record with a 2.55 ERA and a 0.942 WHIP. He struck out 106 and walked 23.
Over his last six starts, though, after he came back from the injury, he gave up 21 runs in 26.2 innings with opponents hitting .304 against him. The Tigers had several scouts and evaluators watching his last start and that hastened the decision to end his season.
“There will be a time to push him,” Avila said. “But not at this point. This is his first full year as a pro and he started very early in camp with us. So, really, he’s been going since January.”
The decision to shut Mize down came after a long deliberation between Avila, vice president of player development David Littlefield and the organization’s pitching coordinator A.J. Sager. Mize will stay with his teammate at Erie and continue to do his workouts.
He will participate in the Tigers’ instructional league beginning Sept. 13.