Casey Mize makes adjustments in Tigers’ shortened spring-training win vs. Pirates

Detroit News

Chris McCosky | The Detroit News

Bradenton, Fla. — Game of adjustments, right? You hear that phrase day after day, year after year, around the game of baseball.

Here’s what that looks like:

Tigers right-hander Casey Mize got two quick strikes on veteran right-handed hitter Todd Frazier leading off the second inning Monday at LECOM Park, but he couldn’t put him away. He threw him splitters and breaking pitches, tantalizing ones just off the plate, and Frazier never flinched.

As Mize immediately realized, after Frazier took another borderline non-fastball for ball four, that he wasn’t swinging at anything spinning. The adjustment: Mize struck out the next hitter, Jacob Stallings, on three straight fastballs.

By doing that, he made the Pirates hitters honor all pitches.

Mize ended up throwing 45 pitches in two innings of the Tigers abbreviated (five innings) 6-1 win over the Pirates. He posted three strikeouts and didn’t give up a hit or any hard contact. But he only threw 25 strikes and walked three.

It was another good offensive day for shortstop Willi Castro. He lined a home run over the center field fence, more than 400 feet, in the first inning. He also singled in a run in the third.

Rule 5 outfielder Akil Baddoo continues to make the most of his early showcase. After striking out his first time up, the left-handed hitter laced an RBI double into the left-field corner. He drew a walk in his last at-bat.

He can look overmatched on breaking balls and off-speed pitches at times, but he attacks fastballs.

Spencer Torkelson, the first overall pick in the draft last year, made his spring debut. He got into the game in the third inning, pinch-running for Castro. He played two innings at third and drew a walk in his only at-bat.

He scored on a two-run double by JaCoby Jones.

Around the horn

The Tigers are hopeful Michael Fulmer can pass his COVID-19 intake testing in time to make his first start of the spring on Saturday. Fulmer’s wife Kelsey gave birth last week to the couple’s second child, a girl.

… Hinch said Renato Nunez and Victor Reyes are also in Lakeland waiting to be cleared to enter camp. The only two players still not in country are Jonathan Schoop and Wily Peralta. “I’ve texted back and forth with Schoop,” Hinch said. “He is working with the government (Curacao). He wants to be here but there is a process.”

Twitter: @cmccosky

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