Tigers right-hander Casey Mize will be undergoing Tommy John surgery. Manager A.J. Hinch gave the news to reporters, including Chris McCosky of the Detroit News, who relays that Mize’s ulnar collateral ligament is not torn, but is stretched to such a degree that it no longer has elasticity.
The news obviously comes as a disappointment for both Mize and the team. The first overall selection of the 2018 draft, Mize has long been seen as one of the best prospects in baseball and a key component of the Tigers’ future success. Last year was his first full season in the majors, with Mize throwing 150 1/3 innings with a 3.71 ERA, 19.3% strikeout rate, 6.7% walk rate and 48.1% ground ball rate.
Based on the work of Mize and fellow young starters Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal, the club felt it was time to get aggressive and spend some money on talented veterans to supplement their young core. They gave multi-year deals to Javier Baez, Eduardo Rodriguez and Andrew Chafin this offseason, hoping to making the transition from rebuilding to competing.
Unfortunately, just about everything has gone wrong in Detroit this year, with multiple players missing significant time due to injury. The starting rotation has been hit particularly hard, with Mize, Manning and Rodriguez all being held back to various maladies, as well as Tyler Alexander and Michael Pineda.
In the case of Mize, it was hoped that he could take a step forward in his development this year, his age-25 season. Instead, he was only able to make a pair of starts before landing on the injured list back in April. In the days after that IL placement, Mize began a throwing program, with the Tigers seemingly breathing a sigh of relief that a major absence had been avoided. However, over the subsequent months, repeated attempts to begin throwing ultimately led to further discomfort and shutdowns.
Instead of the breakout year many had hoped for, 2022 will go down as a lost season for Mize. 2023 will be a question mark as well, given the usual 12-18 months of recovery that are generally required to recovery from Tommy John surgery. Since Mize enters into salary arbitration in the 2023-24 offseason, his future earnings will certainly be impacted by his lack of a platform over the next two years, though Mize did already get some early-career financial comfort in the form of his $7.5MM draft signing bonus.
In the short term, this will hurt the chances of the Tigers recovering from their miserable start to the season. They went 10-23 over their first 33 games but have gone a much more respectable 13-10 since then. The resulting 23-33 record is still not great, but they’re only six games out of a postseason spot in this year’s expanded playoffs. With so many starters on the shelf, the club has been relying on unproven youngsters such as Alex Faedo, Elvin Rodriguez and Beau Brieske, which will have to continue for the time being.
In the long run, Mize will be following Spencer Turnbull down the Tommy John path, as he also underwent the procedure last year. By the time Mize returns in late 2023 or early 2024, it’s possible that the Tigers can finally have the elite rotation they dreamed of with Mize, Turnbull, Manning, Skubal and Eduardo Rodriguez all healthy, with Faedo, Brieske, Elvin Rodriguez, Joey Wentz and other hurlers working their way into the mix as well, though all of that will have to wait.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
People who throw up are now being scheduled for TJS
The next Alex Reyes
Drew Waters Bat
We knew this was coming for months.
Deep down yes we did
Today’s winner of the Tommy John Surgery extravaganza is……Casey Mize! Keepin the TJ Surgery train rollin! The goal is every single pitcher gets it done! We’re getting there!
Should do it the day after drafted to get it out of the way… only 80% kidding
Mize TJ and Bart demoted – top of that draft not looking rosy right now
For Love of the Game
9th round 2019 draft pick Tarik Skubal looking like a Cy Young candidate though!
Faedo looking strong, Brieske getting his feet wet, Turnbull hopefully healthy by next spring. Gotta look at the bright side!
Tyler Madden draft pick and former college pitcher from Univ of Texas
has looked good in the minors and could be “fast tracked”,to the majors
near the end of this year or sometime in 2023.
Madden has a 3.55 ERA at A+, he’s a fine prospect. But there’s no way in hell that he makes the majors this year. Maybe a slight chance that he gets there before the end of 2023. And even that isn’t likely.
He had a bad May. Chance he makes AA this year. Puts him in the conversation for MLB at some point next year.
Why are you singling out Madden when Smith, Olsen, and Flores have been more impressive?
Did someone put a hex on 2018 first round picks?
Shane McClanahan, Nico Hoerner, Jonathan India and Logan Gilbert are pretty good. Heck, Mize was pretty good in 2021.
India has barely played this season, no not sure he should be included. Hoerner hasn’t had significant injuries but he’s not looking anything like an all-star.
Those bats are ok but nothing special. Shane and Gilbert are good. A lot of busts r1
Another episode of “Arrested Development” for a future cog of Tigers’ rotations I was hoping for. At least Mize now knows how to get back.
Stretched to the point it no longer has elasticity? Haven’t heard that one before…
It’s like an old pair of underwear.
Lol. Or an old lady of the night… Im curious if this has ever happened to another pitcher though. Wonder if his workout routine was unique in any way.
Pablo saw this coming in 2017 so he hit the walkoff homer on the last day of the season
Guess he didn’t see how bad Bart was going to be.
See you in 2024. He was looking great in the spring too, Ks were up. Still loaded with talent and plenty young, he’ll be back on top one day.
Unfortunately what most of us suspected. This is a bummer but the Tigers should have a loaded starting rotation in 2024, which should include…,Skubal, Rodriguez, Mize, Turnbull, Manning, Faedo, Wentz and Brieske. Plus Ty Madden, Jackson Jobe and Dylan Smith should be on the verge of making their debuts. That’s 11 starters so appears there is some trade bait for legitimate hitters. Mize may be out for now but at least the future looks bright
You left out Reese Olson and Wilmer Flores. They should both reach the majors before 2023.
By 2024, I meant.
Turnbull is a free agent after next year. Ed. Rodriguez could also opt out. The Tigers’ rotation really was to align next year, but Mize missing is certainly a blow.
Rodriguez won’t opt out, he’d need a really good year for that to happen.
“appears there is some trade bait”…you sure about that? How many starters have they gone through this year?
It happens. and it Sucks.
The Tigers have been severely bitten by the injury bug
The Tigers pitching depth is very strong with Faedo, Brieske, Tyler Madden, Willy Peralta and much more.
Many pitchers come back even stronger after Tommy John.
Better to have surgery sooner rather than later.
Mize could be back in late ’23 or early ’24.
Life goes on.
Get well soon. Still young enough to have an impact on the next Tigers contender.
Breiske hasn’t had TJ surgery yet. What is he waiting for? Manning will need something…eventually. Turnbull will be back…probably just in time to replace Skubal who will need it within the next year or so. Fortunately, Faedo has already had it.
Maybe the Tigers can draft Kumar Rucker in the 2nd round in this year’s draft and get his TJ surgery out of the way.
The Tigers should have a pretty good “All healed from TJS” by 2025. Just in time to have to start trading them for prospects to start the next rebuild of this rebuild.
For Love of the Game
Skubal had TJ surgery in college.
It would be just like the Tigers to have a guy who needs a second one.
For Love of the Game
Don’t be a Nattering Nabob of Negativity!
Sheesh….it was a joke. Lighten up, folks.
For Love of the Game
Ok. Sorry. Also sorry for kinda calling you an idiot. I’m just tired of all these injuries and all these real idiots like GarryHarris having fun at the expense of the Tigers and their fans.
Joba Chamberlain is chairman emeritus
That is not how TJ surgery works. You have the surgery if the ligament is damaged. You just don’t have it to have it.
When you need 10 pitchers better get 20. Horrible. Pitching is a tough thing, and tough to develop. KC first had their vaunted arms, but hardly any panned out in the rotation. Hopefully, Detroit will have several make a solid impact. They looked a lot like a dark horse in the Central.
Medical Collateral Ligament = Ulnar Collateral Ligament. Not sure why the writers on this site couldn’t look that up..
Pretty sure he sprained a different medial collateral ligament. That was probably because his UCL was so stretched out that it was no longer the ligament experiencing the most torque.
Or maybe i understand nothing…
Nah, theres your LCL (RCL) complex, MCL (UCL) complex, annular ligament, quadrate ligament, and oblique cord. None of the others have a medial designation.
Michael Fulmer was ROY, then TJ and he’s never gotten back to where he was, should have offered JV 10% ownership of club plus 25 million a year. One of the few to return and be incredible right away. Hope Mize has quick and full recovery and this is just a blip on the screen
Let’s see how Rony Garcia managed because he’s shown some promise…
We know Elvin Rodriguez isn’t.
Yeah, Rodriguez just isn’t ready for the majors.
Just got sent to Toledo
The Motorcitykitties are snakebit. 2022 sucks.
Hello Casey, l’m glad l’ve finally met you. My name is Tommy John, l’ll be your partner for the next 18 months.
Now that most of the injured players are back in the lineup, the Tigers are being beaten properly.
For Love of the Game
Huh? Austin Meadows is back. Who else?
Grossman came back, but he might be injured again.
For Love of the Game
Grossman…there’s another one. Eyeroll. I also see they activated Victor Reyes. GarryHarris is still a tool.
Well, that sucks. Tigers haven’t gotten any breaks this year.
I’m curious whether there are opinions or analyses on the “new normal” for pitching injuries, TJS, or the effect (or lack thereof) of various training or usage strategies.
1. Is there a base rate or probability established for a pitcher needing TJS or one of the other major surgeries, or de Grom-type situations where’s no surgery but the pitcher remains out of action for multiple months and perhaps across seasons?
2. With all the emphasis organizations put on limiting innings, pitch counts, and “ramping up” after an injury (or just soreness) – resting, soft tossing, long tossing on flat ground, BP session, bullpen session, one or multiple rehab appearances – DOES ANY OF IT WORK? It seems we now have decades of data and managers/organizations act like it’s settled fact that all the limitations help.
I’m not advocating that teams should work pitchers nonstop until they drop, or that we should expect everyone to be Nolan Ryan or Mickey Lolich. But at the other end, you have managers pulling Clayton Kershaw after 7 perfect innings (80 pitches) only to have him quickly miss another month-plus.
I’d love to hear if anyone knows if teams have good data on this or whether they just keep assuming these things are unknowable, so any weird tradition must be okay.
The motion of throwing a baseball is unnatural. Sure, there are pitchers that will be able to do it without any major injuries, but if you continue to put the body through high effort, unnatural movements, injury is going to continue to be an issue.
It’s the fact that they play baseball all year as kids. Travel ball, all-stars, AAU whatever. It’s the accrued mileage and the need for speed to get noticed. You aren’t getting recruited if you’re not at least in the low 90s. The art of pitching has been replaced by nerd metrics that say wildly exceeding what the human body is built for gets you the most xWAR or level 3-FIP. I mean, look at the Mets they are masters at breaking pitchers. That’s actually not necessarily true, it’s more that they have a fetish for guys that throw really hard.
It is interesting that the fastball is thrown less than 50% of the time now. Will be interesting to see if the arms start holding up better.
Also, RIP Walker Buehler’s elbow.
I feel bad for the man, but this has been coming for months. Hopefully he makes a full recovery
The Saber-toothed Superfife
Ok. I’ve resisted long enough……
Any word on Al’s brain scan? Can Mizes’ doctor give us a referral?
Hire the Superfife, don’t waste a doctor’s time…
mid-90s+ speed and high spin rates….so maybe part of the reason why pitchers need TJS within a year or two of being in a roto., and why SPs of yore pitched way more CGs, win or lose.
The rotten part of this all is the fact that this was most likely known back in mid-April but they wanted to “explore all. Avenues” of treatment before TJS. Has anyone here ever heard of ANY of the other avenues working before ultimately getting TJS done? Now he’ll be getting it in late June instead and will miss a large chunk of next year as well. As soon as I saw the injury, I was like schedule that surgery and get it over with!
But in the grand scheme of things, this season we will at the very least get Tork and Greene integrated into the offense and let them take their lumps. And the fact that you also have Faedo, Briske and Wentz getting MLB experience (and not looking bad doing so) and the line bright spot of the rotation Skubal looking absolutely legit. Maybe 2022 sucks but 2023 can be much better for it. Gotta try to look at the glass as half full I guess.
I’ve never even heard of someone having a stretched too far injury, but Tanaka is an example of a pitcher that didn’t go under the knife and was able to keep pitching. It does seem that this almost always results in surgery though. Maybe they are able to make it half a season, but it doesn’t seem to be a very successful long term path.
Kids play ball year round from the time they’re 8 years old and people wonder why their arms blow out.
My thoughts exactly.
All these travel ball teams and kids wanting to throw all kinds on exotic breaking
balls from very young ages before fully developed
has lead to many more injuries.
I avoided drafting him because of the injury risk. I knew he’d end up under the knife. That throwing motion inverted W is real.
You should totally be a GM already!
When is someone going to start teaching how to pitch with reasonable velocity again? Guys throwing max effort and striking out 40% of hitters doesn’t mean jack if they are all hurt.