TODAY: Mize has a sprained MCL, Tigers manager A.J. Hinch told reporters (including Chris McCosky of The Detroit News and Evan Petzold of The Detroit Free Press). Mize will undergo more tests on Monday but did say that his arm was already feeling better today. Pineda has been scratched from tomorrow’s Triple-A start and is expected to pitch for the Tigers during their upcoming series (Apri 19-21) against the Yankees.
APRIL 15: The Tigers announced they’ve placed starter Casey Mize on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow sprain. Cody Stavenhagen of the Athletic relays the Tigers consider the IL placement “precautionary” in nature. In a corresponding move, outfielder Daz Cameron has been recalled from Triple-A Toledo.
Mize worked five innings of two-run ball yesterday against the Royals. He felt some elbow soreness upon waking up this morning and will go for further testing, tweets Jason Beck of MLB.com. That the team is stressing today’s IL placement to be precautionary is a bit of a relief, but it’s worrisome any time a young pitcher of Mize’s talent goes on the shelf with any sort of arm issue.
The first overall pick in the 2018 draft, Mize entered the professional ranks with sky-high expectations. He moved quickly through the minors, performing well consistently while maintaining his status as a top prospect. The Alabama native reached the big leagues late in 2020 and spent last season in the Detroit rotation. Over 30 starts, Mize tossed 150 1/3 innings of 3.71 ERA ball. His 19.3% strikeout percentage and 9.4% swinging strike rate were subpar, but he showed excellent control and induced ground-balls at a solid 48.1% clip.
Mize stayed healthy for the entirety of last season, but he’s had some injury concerns in the past. He missed time with forearm troubles during his sophomore year at Auburn — essentially the only flag raised on pre-draft scouting reports — and he spent a month on the minor league IL with shoulder soreness in 2019. Between that history and Mize’s obvious importance to the organization long-term, the Tigers are sure to proceed with caution.
With Mize out of the rotation for at least the next week and a half, the Tigers are down to Eduardo Rodríguez, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning and Tyler Alexander as the top four. Detroit signed veteran righty Michael Pineda to a one-year deal to serve as the #5 starter, but he was delayed by visa issues and consented to be optioned to Toledo to open the year. Pineda is lined up to start for the Mud Hens this weekend but could be recalled by the middle or end of next week.
Right-hander Wily Peralta started 18 games for the Tigers last season and is in the organization on a minor league deal. He’s been building up arm strength after visa delays held him back too, but manager A.J. Hinch told reporters he’ll be brought up to the majors “shortly” (link via Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free-Press). Detroit plans on deploying him out of the bullpen this season, but his background as a starter should make him a multi-inning option. Peralta is not yet on the 40-man roster, so the Tigers will need to make a move in that regard to formally select his contract.