Maybe it’s a good thing the Detroit Tigers called up Casey Mize when they did.
To aid a failing starting rotation, general manager Al Avila pushed the envelope at noon Monday by bringing up two pitching prospects — right-hander Mize and lefty Tarik Skubal — for their MLB debuts this week against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
By Monday night, left-hander Matthew Boyd proved to the organization why they need new arms on the roster. He couldn’t get out of his own way for the fifth time this season, again lacking fastball and slider command.
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His early destruction led to the Tigers losing, 7-2, to the White Sox in the first showing of a four-game series, for their sixth consecutive defeat. Boyd pitched four innings and gave up three runs on four hits and two walks — all of which came in the first two innings — with nine strikeouts.
Luis Robert extended the lead to 4-2 for the White Sox (12-11) in the sixth inning with a solo home run against Rony Garcia’s 85 mph hanging slider. After a homer from Danny Mendick in the same frame, Robert continued his tear with a two-run shot for a five-run edge.
Detroit will feature Skubal on Tuesday and Mize on Wednesday for their debuts. Skubal is the No. 5 prospect in the organization, according to MLB Pipeline, and Mize is ranked No. 2, behind third baseman Spencer Torkelson.
While the Tigers (9-11) awaited Skubal and Mize, they got a glimpse of No. 6-ranked prospect Isaac Paredes, who started at third base and batted No. 8 in the order.
Paredes makes debut
In the fourth inning, Paredes made a splash in his MLB debut.
He worked a six-pitch at-bat against White Sox starter Gio Gonzalez, sending with two-run single to left field. His first big-league hit came on a 91 mph fastball and drove in Miguel Cabrera and Jonathan Schoop to trim the Tigers’ deficit to one run.
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Paredes finished 1-for-4 with two RBIs. He grounded into a fielder’s choice in his first at-bat to end the second inning. The 21-year-old made a throwing error in the fifth, allowing Jose Abreu to reach.
In his last two games against Boyd, Tim Anderson is 5-for-6 with one single, one triple and three home runs. His dominance continued in the first inning with a leadoff home run, and No. 2 hitter Yoan Moncada followed with a homer of his own.
Both homers came on fastballs: 90 mph to Anderson, 92 mph to Moncada.
In the second, Anderson crushed his fourth homer of the year, and second of the game, on a 79 mph slider.
Boyd began using his curveball in the third inning. He had a perfect 11-pitch third inning (77 total), only adding to the narrative of his inconsistencies. He retired the White Sox in order, including Anderson on a ground out, in the fourth.
He finished with 90 pitches, including 58 strikes.
Infielder Willi Castro made his season debut Aug. 12 and started 4-for-7 with one homer and three RBIs through two appearances. Since then, the 23-year-old is 0-for-11 with one walk and eight strikeouts.
On Monday, he went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.
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Castro, ranked as the team’s No. 7 prospect, played 30 games for the Tigers in 2019, hitting .230 with six doubles, one triple, one homer and eight RBIs. He struck out 34 times compared to six walks.
Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Detroit Tigers content.