Detroit Tigers: Recent news breeds questions around Casey Mize's recovery process

Detroit Tigers pitcher Casey Mize flashes the peace sign to the camera in Lakeland.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Casey Mize flashes the peace sign to the camera in Lakeland. / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Detroit Tigers pitcher Casey Mize underwent second surgery in 2022.

For the Detroit Tigers, there was almost zero anticipation that starting pitcher Casey Mize was going to pitch for the team in 2023. It was not something really up for debate, but the latest news surrounding their young arm could raise some more questions.

It was reported on Wednesday that Detroit Tigers pitcher Casey Mize underwent a second surgery in 2022. He went under the knife for Tommy John Surgery, as was reported and widely known amongst the fanbase. The lesser-known news was that he also underwent a procedure on his back.

Mize was in good spirits when talking about it, even talking about how the adversity he's faced clouded his mind at times. However, he was able to really get himself right and embrace the process. But, the second surgery certainly is a bit of a shock at first glance.

While he was not slated to pitch in 2023 as it is, there has to be some worry that a second surgery gives him more of a hill to climb as he does work toward a return. His body has a steeper hill to climb to get himself back to 100%.

There has to be some worry that things could be a little shaky on the other side of this. While this could be the case even just speaking about Tommy John, there must be a little more concern. Rehabbing his arm and teaching his body the motions could require extra time and care.

Again, the Tigers may not even be competitive in 2024, or at least in dire need of Mize's return, but there has to be some concern moving forward. According to the Tigers' first medical update of the spring, he is continuing to rehab through the strength phase of his forearm rehabilitation.

Mize threw just 10.0 innings over two starts in 2022 before having to hit the Injured List (IL) before undergoing his Tommy John Surgery. There has to be some worry and some concern about how this second surgery could impact his recovery timeline.

Even with the image of Tommy John shifting ever so slightly from what it was in the early 2000s, the recovery press is still tasking and requires a lot of work. Mize was assumed to be one of/if not the team's top pitchers and has a long way to go to get back to 100%.

The Tigers are going to be patient and see things through. Still, even a back procedure that Mize downplayed is a bit concerning as he continues to go through the lengthy recovery process that comes with Tommy John surgery.

It's not to say that the second surgery is a dealbreaker and that he will perish into a bullpen arm and get all negative. But, there's got to be some concern about how long this recovery will take and what his performance might look like on the other side of the break. Even more then before.

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