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Detroit Tigers’ Casey Mize among top pitching prospects to struggle

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.