Casey Mize will likely miss all of next season in addition to the rest of 2022.
Detroit Tigers’ starting pitcher Casey Mize will have Tommy John surgery, A.J. Hinch announced this afternoon. No exact date has been determined.
This comes after several setbacks during his recovery process, including when he reportedly felt discomfort while throwing long toss.
Mize had made just two starts this season, posting a 5.40 ERA before being placed on the IL on April 15 with a right elbow strain. All tests done on his elbow up to this point indicated no further damage, including no tears.
However, as Hinch said in the above video, more recent tests revealed that his UCL has stretched out to the point that “it has lost it’s elasticity and functionality.” While there is still no tear in his UCL, it probably wasn’t too far off, so the doctors decided that Tommy John surgery was the right move.
This is obviously a huge blow to both the Detroit Tigers and Casey Mize himself. For the Tigers, they just lost a key piece to their rotation until 2024 most likely. For Mize, he was entering his second full big league season and looking to establish himself as the ace of this pitching staff. But now, all of that gets put on hold.
Some scouts and analysts believe that this was inevitable for a while due to his mechanics and the fact that he throws a splitter. The most notable of these was back in 2020 when MLB Network analyst Pedro Martinez pointed out the flaw in his mechanics.
The splitter causes a lot of pressure on a pitcher’s elbow because of its grip. You have to grip the ball very firmly in order to get the right spin and movement. For example, Shohei Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in late 2018, and he also throws a splitter.
Despite this injury, it’s far too early to throw Casey Mize’s career in the gutter. Pitchers are coming back stronger than ever from Tommy John surgery. Look at Ohtani now, or perhaps Mize’s teammates Tarik Skubal and Michael Fulmer. Don’t write Mize off just yet.