I came across a podcast called Foul Territory on Twitter today and they were interviewing Casey Mize. I couldn't believe how big Mize looks compared to when I last saw him on the mound. He's listed as 6'3" 214 lbs., but during the interview he looked a lot heavier than that, perhaps by 20-25 pounds or more. Of course, he was in street clothes, but he's got some girth going and his thighs are looking like a couple of oak trunks.
This comes soon after I was listening to another podcast where some trainers and other sports medicine were talking about the high correlation between an increase in body weight and an increase in pitching velocity. They said that it helps to protect their arms as more of the forward momentum is handled through the core area and not in the arm.
They talked about how many pitchers lose a lot of weight during the season, almost guaranteeing that they'd have a significant drop in velocity. Also, they said that they can be more prone to injury as they lose weight. If they don’t consume enough calories and protein, the body begins cannibalizing muscle for fuel. And they don’t perform adequate strength training, their muscle mass will gradually decrease over the season, they see a drop in velocity and they try to overcompensate by throwing harder, which increases the risk of injury.
So here's what I was thinking. Is it possible that some pitchers (and I'm thinking of Spencer Turnbull) flame out early because they're not carrying enough weight to begin the season, and they're not doing what is needed to keep the weight and muscle on during the season?
And is Mize's new heft just because he likes to eat, or is this part of a program?