The Detroit Tigers rebuild has been treacherous, feeling very tasking with no light at the end of the tunnel. The 2022 season gave a glimpse of hope and faith as to what the Tigers could wind up becoming, but that hope was shattered. Primarily due to the team struggling to get things going, but injuries have not helped either.
The Detroit Tigers stumbled out of the gates, and it seems they have just continued to sink farther and farther. A plague of injuries has not helped them in the slightest, but the latest announcement is a real dagger in the team's side.
It was announced that Casey Mize will be out for an extended period as he undergoes Tommy John Surgery to repair his UCL, which has kept him off the field after making just two starts for the team in 2022.
He's logged ten innings for the Tigers in 2022, and his season is officially over, which is a real stab in the back for the Tigers, especially in a year where Tarik Skubal has emerged as the team's ace and is settling in nicely to the big league rotation.
Detroit Tigers losing Casey Mize throws a wrench into the rebuild timeline.
The plans were for the Detroit Tigers to be competitive in 2022, but this looks out of reach at this point. But, there is still hope for the future. The timeline is undergoing a shift, and things will change from what the Tigers had initially anticipated, but they are still pushing in the right direction.
Mize will be sidelined for over a year, likely 14-16 months, as he recovers and rehabs his way back to the big leagues. This would imply that he would be able to throw for the Tigers again in August of 2023, maybe making a few late-year starts to get back into the swing of things.
This leads me to 2024. Keeping the “best-case scenario” mentality, this would imply that the rotation will feature Tarik Skubal as an established big leaguer, Casey Mize off of Tommy John surgery, Spencer Turnbull, who will be a year removed from Tommy John surgery, and possibly Eduardo Rodríguez settling in, finally.
The wildcard here is Turnbull. While the news of losing Mize sucks and is quite frustrating, there's still a lot to like about the direction that this rotation is heading once they can piece it together. I'm trying to be optimistic here and not dwell on the sucky injury news.
Turnbull was dominating the opposition and really settling in before he sustained his injury so it's easy to get excited about what he could bring to the table when he returns. Skubal has been impeccable in 2022, pitching himself towards an All-Star Game nomination.
The Detroit Tigers rebuild timeline is still intact, just shifted.
With that to rally around and some pressure taken off of Mize, it's hard not to like where things could go. It's all speculation and hopefulness, but there is a lot to think that can go right for the Tigers.
While the injury is a dagger to the team's rebuild, it really just shifts it. It's a dagger for those who thought the rebuild would be over in 2022. But, there's still life and reason to believe it will get better moving forward.
So what? The plans changed. The rebuild trudges on, but there's still plenty to be excited about. It gives prospects like Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson more time to develop, the front office time to start making moves, and players time to get healthy.
At first glance, it feels like the Mize news is the straw that breaks the camel's back, but it's really just a shift in the timeline. Things will pan out for the Tigers; it's just going to take time.