Pedro Martinez predicted Tommy John surgery for Casey Mize

Detroit Tigers starter Casey Mize is due to have surgery on Tommy John, but Pedro Martinez saw it coming.

The Detroit Tigers received bad news on Friday when manager AJ Hinch announced right-hander Casey Mize will be undergoing Tommy John surgery. He’ll obviously miss the rest of this season and maybe most of the next.

In general, Tommy John surgery means someone has torn some degree, if not all of it, of the ulnar collateral ligament. But acc Beat reporter Jason Beck of Tigers, that’s not quite the case with Mize. His UCL hasn’t ruptured yet as previously reported, but elasticity is the problem.

Mize, the first overall pick in the 2018 draft to post a 3.71 ERA in 30 starts (150.1 innings) last season, has not played for the Tigers since mid-April. After he struggled during a rehab start in May, further evaluations by doctors led to a recommendation that he should be barred from pitching. He started throwing again last week, and feeling like he had less than full power when stretched to 90 feet on level ground led to the most recent test.

Pedro Martinez predicted Tommy John surgery for Casey Mize

As a small pitcher who made over 400 major league starts and was one of the best (if not the best) pitchers in baseball at his peak with the Boston Red Sox, Pedro Martinez knows a little about the craft.

In his 2020 role as an analyst for MLB Network, Martinez spoke about Mize’s mechanics and the concerns he had (h/t to 97.1 The Ticket).

The fact that he’s got a little problem in his shoulder, he’s not fully extended and he’s throwing that nasty split finger could scare anyone.” Pitch, you’re probably looking at a guy who’s about to get hurt.

And for a man flying open, that usually puts strain on your elbow — and you know what’s next.

Because as soon as you open up from the top of your body, the elbow is exposed. And for a guy who throws a lot of split fingers – that’s his wipeout pitch – he’s going to expose his elbow a lot, he’s going to hurt his elbow and Tommy John is going to follow.”

Mize reduced usage of its splitter from 17.9 percent in 2020 to 13.2 percent last year (according to baseball scholar), but the damage was probably already done.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, Martinez was spot on – and ahead of the curve when he predicted Mize would have a major elbow problem. Pedro Martinez predicted Tommy John surgery for Casey Mize

John Verrall

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