LAKELAND, Mich. – The No. 1 prospect in the Detroit Tigers organization will get his first start of spring training Thursday against the New York Yankees, and the game will be on TV.
It will be Mize’s third appearance of the spring. He allowed two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out two batters Feb. 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and pitched a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
GAME DETAILS: 1:05 p.m. Thursday on Fox Sports Detroit or MLB Network (out of market only for MLB Network)
Mize is ranked the No. 1 right-handed pitching prospect in baseball and the No. 7 prospect overall by MLB Pipeline. He’s expected to start the season with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens after dominating High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie before a shoulder injury last season.
He wasn’t nearly as effective after returning from the injured list, but Mize appears to be back to full health. He showcased his devastating swing-and-miss splitter last week and touched 97 mph with his fastball. The slider also appears to be a plus pitch.
Prospects Matt Manning and Alex Faedo are also expected to pitch Thursday, according to MLB.com’s Jason Beck.
In the opposing dugout, the Yankees will counter with perhaps the best pitcher in the world: Gerrit Cole.
Cole held the Tigers scoreless in 2.2 innings Saturday, allowing two hits and striking out a pair of batters. He’s in the first year of an historic nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yankees.
Here’s how the Tigers will line up against Cole:
- Victor Reyes, CF
- Travis Demeritte, RF
- Miguel Cabrera, DH
- Christin Stewart, LF
- Jeimer Candelario, 3B
- Brandon Dixon, 1B
- Jordy Mercer, 2B
- Jake Rogers, C
- Willi Castro, SS
It’s important for Jeimer Candelario to break out of his offensive slump as the Tigers continue to give him every opportunity to earn the starting third base job. His competition, Dawel Lugo, has three hits in his last five at-bats and went 2-for-3 with a double Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox.
Candelario is a frigid 1-for-17 with a single, no walks and five strikeouts this spring.
Detroit likely won’t use Jordy Mercer much at second base, as Jonathan Schoop will be the everyday starter. Willi Castro has done a nice job at shortstop, going 5-for-15 so far this spring.
Jake Rogers already has a home run and a walk in three spring plate appearances. He’ll look to make an impression after fellow backup catcher candidate Eric Haase hit his second homer of the spring Wednesday. Presumed backup Grayson Greiner is 1-for-11 this spring.
The Yankees will line up like this:
- Mike Tauchman, CF
- Gio Urshela, 3B
- Miguel Andujar, 1B
- Gary Sanchez, C
- Clint Frazier, LF
- Kyle Higashioka, DH
- Rosell Herrera, 2B
- Thairo Estrada, SS
- Trey Amburgey, RF
Mize will see MLB-caliber hitters at the top six spots in the order, though only Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez are definitive starters. Mike Tauchman, Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier are also strong offensive players.