Matt Manning, Detroit Tigers’ top remaining pitching prospect, to make MLB debut

Matt Manning to make debut Thursday vs. Los Angeles Angels

Matt Manning #83 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the Spring Training game against the Atlanta Braves at CoolToday Park on February 23, 2020 in North Port, Florida. The Tigers defeated the Braves 5-1. (Mark Cunningham, 2020 Getty Images)

DETROITMatt Manning, the top remaining pitching prospect in the Detroit Tigers organization, is set to make his MLB debut this week.

The Tigers announced Manning will make his debut Thursday night on the road against the Los Angeles Angels. He was officially added to the taxi squad Tuesday and joined the team in Kansas City.

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Manning, 23, was the team’s first-round pick -- No. 9 overall -- in the 2016 draft. He was the organization’s minor league player of the year in 2019 when he struck out 148 batters in 133.2 innings with a 2.56 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in Double-A.

This year has not gone as well for Manning.

After the 2020 minor league season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Manning was promoted to Triple-A Toledo for the first time in 2021. In 32.1 innings, he’s sporting an 8.07 ERA, a 1.546 WHIP and has allowed 10 home runs.

It’s possible the year off simply caused Manning to start slow, because his last outing went six innings with eight strikeouts and just two earned runs. He only generated nine swinging strikes on 93 pitches, though.

Maybe Manning has simply pitched too many minor-league innings -- 364 over five seasons. While fellow prospects Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal earned promotions to the MLB club, he struggled in spring training and got sent back down.

The Tigers are hoping a promotion to the big leagues is the boost he needs to recapture his dominant form.

Manning’s promotion comes after Matt Boyd was removed from Monday’s game in the third inning. Spencer Turnbull is also out with injury, so Manning will join Mize, Skubal and Jose Urena in the current rotation, with perhaps a bullpen game every fifth day until Boyd or Turnbull return.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.