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Detroit Tigers’ Casey Mize among top pitching prospects to struggle

Detroit Tigers starter Casey Mize pitches during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 30 in Detroit. (AP file photo)

By NOAH TRISTER

AP Baseball Writer

Kansas City’s Brady Singer took a no-hitter into the eighth inning Thursday. Then, a night later, Casey Mize began a game with five hitless frames for Detroit.

For fans of the Royals and Tigers, it was a welcome glimpse of what the future could hold.

Singer and Mize were both drafted in the first round in 2018 — Mize was the top pick overall — and each has had a chance to pitch during this pandemic-shortened season. Neither has particularly good numbers overall, but this past week was a step in the right direction.

Singer is 2-4 with a 4.66 ERA in nine starts. His eight-inning effort Thursday was the first time he’d lasted at least six. Mize hasn’t gone six innings yet, but he went 5 1/3 on Friday for his longest start. He is 0-1 with a 5.85 ERA.

These two aren’t alone with their growing pains. Plenty of other young pitchers have had similar struggles this year. Toronto’s Nate Pearson (0-0, 6.61 ERA) made four starts but has had elbow issues recently, San Diego’s Luis Patino (0-0, 5.52) has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen, and Philadelphia’s Spencer Howard (1-2, 5.92) has lasted five innings in only one of his six starts. Tarik Skubal, Mize’s teammate with the Tigers, is 1-2 with a 7.27 ERA.

However, there are success stories among the game’s current group of pitching prospects. Sixto Sanchez (3-1, 1.69) pitched a complete game Sunday for Miami. It was the seven-inning kind — part of a doubleheader — but Sanchez has caught Pedro Martinez’s attention and drew a complimentary tweet from the former star.

Ian Anderson (3-0, 1.64) has been impressive through four starts for Atlanta. Dane Dunning of the White Sox (1-0, 2.70) and Deivi Garcia (1-1, 3.06) of the Yankees are off to nice starts.