Pedro Martinez predicted Tommy John surgery for Casey Mize

Detroit Tigers starter Casey Mize is slated for Tommy John surgery, but Pedro Martinez saw it coming.

The Detroit Tigers got a bit of bad news on Friday, as manager A.J. Hinch announced righthander Casey Mize will undergo Tommy John surgery. He will obviously miss the rest of this season, and perhaps most of next.

Generally, having Tommy John surgery means someone has torn the ulnar collateral ligament to some degree, if not totally. But according to Tigers’ beat reporter Jason Beck, that’s not exactly the case with Mize. His UCL is still not torn, as reported previously, but elasticity is the issue.

Mize, the first overall pick in the 2018 draft who posted a 3.71 ERA in 30 starts (150.1 innings) last season, has not pitched for the Tigers since mid-April. After struggling during a rehab start in May, further examinations from doctors led to a recommendation he be shut down from throwing. He started throwing again last week, and feeling less than full strength when stretched to 90 feet on flat ground led to the recent test.

Pedro Martinez predicted Tommy John surgery for Casey Mize

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

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

The fact that he has a little hitch in his shoulder, he’s not fully extended and he throws that nasty split finger could scare anybody,” “If the Detroit Tigers don’t emphasize a lot on his mechanics and clean up his release point with that kind of pitch, you’re probably looking at a guy that’s going to get hurt.”

And for a guy that flies open, normally that will cause stress on your elbow — and you know what comes next,”

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

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

Unfortunately for the Tigers, Martinez was spot on–and ahead of the curve in predicting Mize would have a major elbow issue.

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