In 2010, Tim graduated from Upper Perk High School, where he excelled in both basketball and baseball. As a sophomore, he threw a no-hitter against Pottstown, and during the course of his high school career he averaged more than a strikeout an inning. Three times, he was an All-PAC-10 selection, including First Team in 2010.
Mayza also had terrific offensive numbers for Upper Perk. As a senior he hit .424 with eight doubles, a triple and a homerun, while splitting time between the mound, first base and the outfield.
During high school, he also excelled for Perkiomen Post 184 in American Legion ball, and was selected for the 2009 Legion East-West game.
Mayza spent some time at Big Leagues Academy, working with the last Upper Perk player drafted, Josh Tyler. Now the general manager at Big Leagues Academy in Newtown, Tyler went from Upper Perk to the University of Pittsburgh. After his junior year, he was drafted 24th by the Milwaukee Brewers, but an injury while in Triple A ball with the Giants ended Tyler’s quest for the Majors.
Tyler has played an important supportive role in Mayza’s development as a player, especially when things got a little rocky at Millersville and last summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League.
“It was probably a year ago on a phone call, when he was kind of talking about how his coach (at Millersville) felt like he was a little lackadaisical and not getting after it, and I said, 'The big thing you need to do now is develop a pre-game routine that you do every time that gets you set and ready, so your body is ready to go, your mind is ready to go, you do the same thing every time. I don’t care if you listen to the same music, whatever you do,’” Tyler said. “He got that idea and applied it, and then went up to the Cape and used that to go through some of the adversity he went through up there.”
- June 2013: Mayza was the Blue Jays 12th round pick, out of Millersville University of Pennsylvania. This followed a junior season in which he went 11-3 with a 1.55 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 98.2 innings.
MLB debut (August 15, 2017): When the word came down, Jon Shehan flew into action. “I said to my wife after spring training: If he gets the call, we gotta go,” said Shehan, the head baseball coach at Millersville University in southeastern Pennsylvania. “We just weren’t expecting it this early.”
One of the best players to have passed through Shehan’s award-winning program at Millersville was left-handed pitcher Tim Mayza, who got the call to join the Blue Jays on Aug. 14. Mayza made his Major League debut in Toronto’s 6-4 loss to the Rays when he took the mound to start the ninth inning.
“We made it in time for the second inning and we got to see the important part,” said Shehan during a phone interview as he drove back to Millersville.
What Shehan, his wife Lindsay, Mayza’s family, and Mayza’s girlfriend Darian saw at the Rogers Centre was the 25-year-old rookie strike out his first batter, pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos, and survive his first inning in the bigs without giving up a run. One of the Jays’ infielders retrieved the game ball for him.
“I was in tears,” said Shehan, who doesn’t come across as an overly emotional guy. “We love Tim. He’s like a little brother to me.”
Shehan said the best part of the visit was watching the faces of Mayza’s family during the game. Afterwards, Mayza, his girlfriend, his family and the Shehans went out to a pizza joint, talked and watched highlights of the game on the restaurant TV. “It was surreal,” said Shehan. It was certainly a whirlwind couple of days for Shehan.
They got a last minute, one-way flight to Toronto but decided not to fly home given the steep cost of another one-way flight. So, they took a bus from Toronto to Buffalo and then rented a car in Buffalo for the rest of the trip home. All told, it took them 11 hours.
But, Shehan said, it was easily worth it. Watching only the second player in Millersville University history make it to the Majors was a thrill for a lot of people in that part of the world. Mayza said he received about 100 texts after the game from former teammates and high school friends. The lead item on the Millersville University website proclaimed: ‘Former Marauder Tim Mayza promoted to Toronto Blue Jays'. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mayza said the main reason why he chose Millersville, a NCAA Division II program, was because of Shehan.
“He meant a lot to me and had such an impact on my development, really helped me in a lot of ways, not just in baseball,” said the soft-spoken Mayza. “He’s always been big proponent of the mental game, being able to handle certain situations and stuff like that. He’s one of the guys who I credit for developing my mental training prior to this year. He made me believe in what my stuff was and what my capabilities were. He pushed me to believe in myself.”
“We had a lot of late-night conversations,” added Shehan. “He’s battled through a lot and I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy rise (in the pros). But I’m just so proud, knowing where he was the first couple of years to see how far he’s come.”
Shehan said Mayza threw his fastball about 88-89 mph as a freshman but worked extremely hard to ramp it up to where it touched 98 mph last season. He throws his four-seam fastball at about 95 with an 88 slider, a pitch he learned in the minors.
Coming out of high school, scouts were not sure of Mayza’s potential, said Shehan, despite his size and the fact that he’s a lefty because he wasn’t showing a consistent breaking ball, something they worked hard at Millersville. Another reason why Mayza decided to go to Millersville, apart from Shehan being the coach, is because he got a chance to pitch virtually right away, which might not have happened at a Division I school.
Mayza left Millersville after a 2013 junior season, in which he went 11-3 with a 1.55 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 98.2 innings. He was selected in the 12th round by the Jays. Overall, he went 21-9 with a 2.98 ERA as a Marauder and started Game 3 of Millersville’s 2011 NCAA Championship Tournament appearance as a freshman.
For Mayza, being the second player from Millersville to reach the Majors is an honor and something he’s very proud of. The only other one was righthanded pitcher Jim Todd, who played in the Majors from 1974 until 1979. Shehan said Mayza making it is huge for the university and the four other kids from the program playing in the low minors now.
“It’s awesome for our program and I think kids are realizing that there’s an option (to Division I),” said Shehan. “And it’s great for our conference (PSAC) as well.” (email@example.com)
2019 Season: Mayza led the Blue Jays with 68 appearances out of the bullpen and posted a 4.91 ERA. But in September, he went on the shelf after undergoing Tommy John surgery. And he didn't pitch for the Blue Jays again until 2021.
- June 2013: Mayza was the Blue Jays 12th round pick, out of Millersville University of Pennsylvania.
- Jan 13, 2023: Tim and the Jays avoided arbitration agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.1 million.
|Birth City:||Allentown, PA|
|Draft:||Blue Jays #12 - 2013 - Out of Millersville Univ. of Penn.|
Mayza Is a lefthander with a very heavy 91-96 mph FASTBALL, a SLIDER, and a good CHANGEUP.
2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 56% of the time and Slider 44% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 94.4 mph and Slider 86.7 mph.
2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 21.1% of the time; Sinker 43.4%; Change less than 1%; and Slider 35.4% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 93.9 mph, Sinker 94.8, Change 90.1, and Slider 88.2 mph.
2020 Season Pitch Usage: Did not pitch.
2022 Season Pitch Usage/Avg. Velo: Sinker 80% - 93.7 mph; Slider 20% - 88.5 mph.
Tim talks about his slider: “I probably first started learning to spin one a little bit when I was around 14 years old. I didn’t have a good heater when I was growing up—I was 81-83 mph in high school. But with the way my arm slot was, my pitching coach recommended a slider over a curveball. I’m kind of high three-quarters, and he felt that the way my hand was coming through the ball, it would be easier to get on top of it than if I were trying to throw a 12-6.
“In college it was more of a slurve — it was kind of big and loopy — and even in high school it was never really a true slider. I’d never been able to throw it at a high velocity. But then things changed in Low-A, to where I was able to start throwing it harder. What I did was start throwing it at a lengthier distance. Instead of working it at 60 feet, I was throwing a slider at 75 feet. That helped me get better extension on it, and work through it better. That’s when it became a little smaller, a little more of a true slider.
“Along with working on it at longer distances, I worked on hand speed through the ball. The more I’m working those fingers through the ball, the tighter the spin is going to be. A lot of people think of arm speed as arm strength, and that velocity comes with it. But for me, to spin the slider the way I want to, I have to think about having a quick hand, and getting my hand through the ball as fast as I can.” (David Laurila - FANGRAPHS - May 28, 2019)
Feb 20, 2021: As Mayza progressed through his rehab process, he was able to clean up some mechanical issues. Often, the recovery process from a major elbow surgery offers pitchers that opportunity, given that they’re refamiliarizing themselves with their delivery from the ground up. That can have some benefits, too.
“I think the two-seam has come a long way from where it was in the middle of 2019, a little more consistent,” Mayza said. “I would say that it has a little more sink now than it did back then. I feel like coming out of rehab, you don't know how the rehab or the return to throwing is going to affect the way these pitches move, and I think the two-seam has plus potential to be a solid pitch for me.” (K Matheson - MLB.com - Feb 20, 2021)
May 26-June 4, 2019: Tim was on the IL with left ulnar neuritis.
Sept 13, 2019: Tim was on the IL with a torn left UCL. Tim Mayza and the Blue Jays got the news that they’d feared, as the 27-year-old has been diagnosed with a torn UCL and would undergo Tommy John surgery.
Mayza was removed from the game against the Yankees, and it was clear at the time that the injury was serious. After releasing a pitch that sailed well behind Didi Gregorius at the plate, Mayza immediately dropped to his knees in pain. He was clearly emotional on the mound while surrounded by teammates and staff.
The typical recovery time for Tommy John means that Mayza is likely to miss the entire 2020 season and set his sights on returning to the Majors in 2021.
Sept 18-Nov 4, 2019: Tim underwent Tommy John surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow in Dallas with Dr. Keith Meister. What wasn’t expected was the additional information the operation revealed, especially given its rarity.
Mayza was found to have also sustained a Grade 3 tear of his left flexor tendon, an ailment that, when compounded with the Tommy John surgery, will keep him from returning to action until Spring Training of 2021. The general timeline for the procedure alone is 12 months. This revelation will add around five to six months of recovery.
Feb 20, 2021: Mayza is back to throwing bullpens and facing live hitters now, 16 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Aug 6-18, 2021: Tim was on the IL with left elbow inflammation.
May 15-June 11, 2022: Tim was on the IL with left forearm inflammation.
- Aug 6-23, 2022: Tim was on the IL. Mayza injured his shoulder diving to tag a runner at home plate in Minneapolis on a squeeze play, and was in significant pain after going down. He was quickly diagnosed with a dislocated right shoulder (non-throwing arm).