The news goes from bad to worse for the 23-33 Detroit Tigers in the closing days of spring. 

Per Jason Beck of the MLB website and Chris McCosky of The Detroit News, Tigers manager AJ Hinch confirmed before Friday’s home game versus the Toronto Blue Jays that right-hander Casey Mize will undergo Tommy John surgery and, thus, won’t pitch again until 2023 at the earliest. 

The 25-year-old selected No. 1 overall in the 2018 draft hasn’t pitched since April 14 because of lingering elbow issues. McCosky notes that Mize twice had throwing programs shut down because of symptoms related to his ulnar collateral ligament. 

Hinch told reporters that Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas determined Mize has “a stretched ligament that had lost its elasticity and functionality inside the elbow.” It’s unknown when Mize will go under the knife, and the timetable for a return from the procedure can be anywhere from 12 to 18 months. 

This season, Mize went 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA across only two starts. In 39 career MLB starts, he’s 7-13 with a 4.29 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. 

“Casey is disappointed that he’s going to miss a significant amount of time – he already has. But I think he’s resolved to the fact that this is necessary to take the next step in his career,” Hinch added during his comments. 

“We’ll all be there for Casey,” Hinch continued. “And we know he’ll be better on the other side and that this is a necessary step to get there.” 

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