"Mize has emerged in a way that is really exciting for the Tigers, to know how close he is," MLB insider Jon Morosi told the Jamie and Stoney Show. "It’s clear we’re going to see him at some point. It won’t be obviously the beginning of the season, but I think he’ll make his debut this year."
While they can't admit it, Al Avila and the Tigers optioned Mize to Toledo to avoid starting his clock toward free agency. If they wait about a week into the season to bring him back, they'll have him under team control for an extra year. It was a wise business move, said Morosi, even if "no one wants to hear it."
The Dodgers made the same decision with 2B/SS Gavin Lux, one of the top prospects in baseball who started three playoff games for the club last season. From a front-office perspective, the shortened season makes teams more inclined than usual to wait on their young talent.
"It’s a unique situation where sending a player down for basically one more week buys you another year," said Morosi. "For the Tigers, in their situation, it’s a logical move."
So, when will see Mize?
"Between what he has done and what (Riley) Greene has done, Tigers fans have a lot of reasons to be excited about what’s happened the last couple weeks."
The Tigers start the season Friday night in Cincinnati. Their first homestand runs from July 27-Aug. 4. So if they wanted to, they could bring Mize to the Majors after Aug. 1 and have him make his big-league debut at Comerica Park, albeit without fans. Their thin rotation could use the help.
Whatever the Tigers decide, we should expect to see Mize in Detroit within the next month.