Tonight, the Chicago Cubs are starting a new three-game series against the Tigers, and they’ll do so against one of the top pitching prospects in MLB, Casey Mize.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Ian Happ, CF
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
3. Javy Baez, SS
4. Kyle Schwarber, LF
5. Willson Contreras, C
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. Victor Caratini, DH
8. David Bote, 3B
9. Nico Hoerner, 2B
With Alec Mills on the mound, David Ross is once again going with a very familiar lineup. I think we can all agree the consistency is nice, but I gotta say … I had a lot more to write about when Joe Maddon was making the decisions. You truly never knew what you were going to get.
In any case, in Kris Bryant’s on-going absence, David Bote (3B) and Ian Happ (leadoff) continue to fill in. Meanwhile, it’s Nico Hoerner today, not Jason Kipnis, getting the start against the righty, Mize.
I don’t know a ton about Mize, who only just made his big league debut 5 days ago against the White Sox, but I do know he’s the 8th best prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline. I also know he’s got a 70-grade splitter, sold control, and a mid-90s fastball that can touch up to 97 MPH. In his first and only big league outing five days ago, Mize allowed 7 hits, including a homer, to the Sox, but he also walked none and struck out 7 in just 4.1 IP with little hard contact.
Whether or not he looks like a finished product tonight or a prospect who hasn’t yet found his footing is to be determined, but he’s going to be a very good pitcher for a long time and the Cubs would be wise to approach these plate appearances as if he’s more than just a rookie in his second start.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post close to game time (6:10 CT).