The Tigers optioned right-hander Matt Manning to Triple-A after last night’s ballgame, the team announced. The move makes room for Derek Holland, who will be reinstated from the 10-day injured list.
Manning has been one of the Tigers’ top prospects since he was taken ninth overall in the 2016 draft. Along with Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, Manning figures heavily into the Tigers’ rebuilding strategy. The Tigers have long been a pitching forward organization, of course, but it’s only now that all three of their highly-touted arms have begun to arrive in Motor City. With five starts this season, Manning is the last of the three to make his Major League debut.
Like Mize and Skubal, Manning’s early results have been relatively underwhelming. The 23-year-old has a 6.95 ERA/5.36 FIP through 22 innings with a solid 7.9 percent walk rate, but subpar 8.9 percent strikeout rate. It’s early to judge Manning, of course, and he put forth arguably his best effort yet on Friday night against the Twins, tossing five innings and yielding two earned runs on two hits and three walks while striking out three. The move makes sense at this juncture, however, as the Tigers won’t need a fifth starter for the foreseeable future with the All-Star break beginning Monday.
Thus far, Manning has presented a relatively diverse arsenal, fronted by 93.3 mph four-seamer, thrown 62.0 percent of the time. He compliments the heater primarily with a change-up to lefties and a slider to righties, occasionally mixing in a change-of-pace, looping curveball, clocking in at 78.3 mph.
The slider-forward approach is one that we’ve seen many Tigers’ hurlers take this season, with Mize and Skubal also showing increased reliance on the slider, as noted here and here by Timothy Jackson of Baseball Prospectus. Ace Spencer Turnbull, too, had increased his slider usage from 20.9 percent to 24.5 percent this year prior to being injured.
A flyball-heavy approach has left Manning somewhat prone to the long ball this season, especially in Triple-A where he was tagged with a 27.5 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. While that number is astronomically high and sure to regress to the mean somewhat, he was tagged for three more home runs in the Majors, amounting to a 3.0 percent home run rate – right around the league-average rate.
As for the 34-year-old Holland, he will rejoin the Tigers bullpen. The veteran southpaw has 14 appearances on the season totaling 15 innings of work with a unsightly 9.60 ERA. ERA indicators — 4.01 SIERA, 4.04 FIP — are far more complimentary of Holland’s contribution, however. The difference could be due to a .426 BABIP that’s well above both the league-wide average of .297 and his own career average mark of .299.
Holland has been a touch wild, with an 11.5 percent walk rate, despite a career best 74.4 percent first pitch strike percentage. To his credit, as he’s gotten ahead in counts, Holland has struck out 25.6 percent of batters, a strong mark just above the league average for relievers.
Holland has been on the injured list since June 10th with shoulder inflammation. It was his second stint on the IL so far this season. Formerly of the Rangers, White Sox, Cubs, Giants and Pirates, the journeyman joined the Tigers on a minor league deal this offseason and made the team out of spring training.
Mize only has the 6th highest pitching WAR in the AL this season. I no longer think underwhelming applies to him.
I think they were referring to last season being underwhelming. Though even with Mize’s surface level stats, he is giving up a lot of hard contact and benefitting from a lot of luck this season.
Giving up a lot of hard contact in the AL Central for a bad team as a 24 yo rookie? I find that hard to believe. I still think focusing on seven garbage starts in a lost covid season to support a narrative is sloppy writing. But it’s all good.
For Love of the Game
He’s pitching to contact and getting quick outs. Look at his ground ball rate, over 50% this year. Hard-hit rate is a tad high, not surprising when pitching to contact. But the big difference this year is fewer line drives than last year and more ground balls.
I know as a Tigers fan this is like talking to a wall, but Mize’s peripheral numbers are something to worry about. He gives up too much hard contact to be a “pitch-to-contact” guy. You have it completely backwards, these guys need to give up weak contact in order to sustain success. His HR% is high, his EV is high, his barrel% is very high, and he has a super high LOB%. He lowered his LD% but it is still way too high to not be a big K guy. I do think there is a lot of potential in his stuff, but he is going to continue to have to make big adjustments or his steady production will not continue once lady luck catches up to him. I hope he does.
In other words: “Oh my lord, this rookie is not pitching like he’s reached his prime. Beware!”
For Love of the Game
His hard hit rate is one or two percentage points higher than elite pitchers, none of whom are rookies. His EV is no higher than elite pitchers. His LD rate is no higher. Yes, high LOB and HR rates. I’ll give you those. This is one poised kid who is well on his way to learning how to pitch. I’m sorry arrogant Yankee fans look down upon those of us in flyover country.
Line drives are the batted ball rate that fluctuates the most year to year. If anything, I’d expect his line drive rate to trend slightly upwards towards league average. His GB rate is great, especially when paired with his infield fly ball rate (you don’t see baby pitchers when 50% GB and 10% IFFB), but he uses his sinker to get those ground balls and his sinker is what is hit the hardest: .395 wOBA on his sinker this year and a .428 xwOBA. I’d like to see him use his sinker more sparingly and strategically; only in situations where a ground ball is prudent – double play scenarios, I guess, because 23.7% sinkers for him is too high. The pitchers with the most success in Detroit lean more heavily on fly balls – this makes sense given the dimensions of the outfield. he’s made incremental improvements this year for sure and has a solid future if he can make a few more tweaks.
1. Not a yankee fan, so your self-defeating statements just look really insecure.
2. You are right, they aren’t bad for some guys, but they are for a guy who doesn’t miss bats. You can’t compare all pitchers to the same metrics. You yourself do this when you qualified his hard contact as being okay because he is pitching to contact, yet you ignore it when it doesn’t suit your argument.
3. Racosun, straw-manning an argument is the highest form of intellectualism. Keep doing you.
4. I do think he will make adjustments but y’all got so upset by me pointing out the major flaws in his game. Makes me think you are desperate to convince yourselves more than me. Continue your circle jerk.
Ya they’re talking first glimpse, getting baptized so to speak
For Love of the Game
Agreed. And disappointingly little thought given to the piece when putting Mize, Skubal, and Manning in the same bucket. Skubal has been inconsistent but occasionally brilliant. Mize has been more consistent. Manning is quite a bit rougher around the edges. Poor baseball journalism to apply one conclusion equally to them all.
Manning has had some ok outings… he had one terrible outing. Only once has he allowed more than 2 runs in an outing. That was when he gave up 9 runs against the Indians. The rest were decent.
His last outing was 5 innings 2 hits. He was replaced in the 6th with 2 runners on. The reliever gave up his 2 runs and then 2 of his own.
Oh well… no one cares.
If Mize wore a Yankee uni, the MLBTR bois would be saying how he’s the next ace of the staff.
“The Tigers have long been a pitching forward organization”
1. Hooks Dauss 223
2. George Mullin 209
3. Mickey Lolich 207
4. Hal Newhouser 200
5. Jack Morris 198
6. Tommy Bridges 194
7. Justin Verlander 183
8. Dizzy Trout 161
9. Bill Donovan 140
10. Earl Whitehill 133
11. Frank Lary 123
12. Dan Petry 119
13. Jim Bunning 118
14. Denny McLain 117
15. Virgil Trucks 114
16. Schoolboy Rowe 105
17. Ed Killian 100
18. Milt Wilcox 97
19. Frank Tanana 96
Ed Willett 96
21. Fred Hutchinson 95
22. Vic Sorrell 92
23. Joe Coleman 88
24. John Hiller 87
25. Max Scherzer 82
Mize is solid this year but I think he still is disappointing considering he went 1-1.
He is effective and getting outs this year and but his k rate is below average and the advertised super splitter is not much.
He could be a solid pitchability over stuff middle of the rotation guy and that has value but honestly at 1-1 I want a Guy with stuff who strikes out 30% of his batters faced or at least 25 or so.or is there another gear for his stuff (giolito had low Ks initially too)?
Nobody that went in the first round of that draft class has really broke out yet, maybe Nick Madrigal being the exception, point is it’s way too early to say disappointing IMO especially considering the fact that at the very least, Mize has been above average.
For Love of the Game
Mize was that guy, but he was giving up too many walks and throwing too many pitches. He switched to commanding the zone and pitching to weak contact. He wants to go 7+ innings and that means 15 pitches an inning. It is hard to do that when you need 6-7 pitches to get one out (through K’s). He is inducing weak grounders to get there. He can strike guys out when he needs to. Just watch him.
For a 24 year old rookie I’d say he’s been pretty good. Quality starts almost every time and he knows how to limit damage and get out of jams. He looks like a veteran mentally and his stuff is only going to get better
Hard to walk with four balls
Mize has been great. If you think he is disappointing then you have not been watching the games. His future looks as bright as any young pitcher in the game.
Getting a solid middle of the order pitcher @ 1-1 is a return you should be happy with, honestly. Think about how much those guys make on the free agent market and subtract what you’re paying him. That’s how much surplus value the Tigers get with that pick.
I will say, the people that are claiming he’s been, “great” are probably over selling his production this year.
Yes maybe Mize has been a bit disappointing; but still so young and since May he has been solid and made a case for being Tigers All Star.
I think he just needs to continue to improve. And fortunately his floor seems to be a 3-4 starter, and I can see him being that right now on a good team.
Mize’s results have been underwhelming? Check again. Looks like he’s had it figured out for a couple months now.
They could have easily saved an option and DFA Krol, who is completely washed. Watched him throw absolutely garbage pitches with no action in last nights game against MIN, why is he even back with them? They have so many lefty relievers, it’s a terrible strategy with the new rules.
Kroll is the designated warm body, and will be dfa upon another pitcher coming off the IL, or when they need the 5th starter again. In the meantime, you hope Hinch doesn’t use him in another meaningful game, like he did last night. When they cut him, its likely he will pass waivers and accept assignment to Toledo again. They knew whoever got called up would not be on the 40, and could be lost on waivers. If they lose Krill, no harm.
This should be interesting. They’re one starter short right now. Of course with the All-Star break coming we really don’t need one but we will afterwards. So are they going to just have one bullpen day every fifth day or will there be another move coming? The previous word was Matt Boyd wouldn’t be ready until August. Stretch out Tyler alexander?
It’s only for 1 game to keep him pitching. That point was never made in this article. Hinch said he’d be back for the Texas series.
Now Derek Holland is someone I didn’t realize was still active…
derek needs a save. 32 games finished, no saves.
At least there’s hope…. If they only dump Nomar Mazara now and use Derek Hill everyday.
Can’t we all just agree….?
Al stinks BIG. THAT’S B-I-G not b-i-n-g-o.
I can name three pitchers that SHOULD NOT BE on the Tigers’ disabled list.
You should have hired me Al, Chris.
I’m getting moody.
I understood Manning is only going to Toledo for one game, to keep pitching during the All Star break, and he will be back in like 10 days.