April 19: Manager AJ Hinch said in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM this morning that Manning’s initial diagnosis is “as positive as it could be” (Twitter link via Jason Beck of MLB.com). Imaging revealed that Manning is dealing with inflammation and some tendinitis, but the shoulder appears to be structurally sound. The Tigers have not determined whether Manning will make his next start but surely breathed a sigh relief nevertheless upon learning that there’s no major damage.
April 16: The Tigers have dealt with more than their share of injuries in this young season, and they may have suffered another today. Matt Manning was pulled early from his start with right shoulder discomfort, the team announced. This comes just a day after fellow young starter Casey Mize was placed on the injured list with a sprained MCL.
Beyond their young starters, the Tigers already began the season without Riley Greene, one of the top prospects in the game. Only recently, offseason acquisition Javier Baez was also placed on the injured list.
Manning and Mize together represent one of the primary reasons the Tigers are viewed by many as a team to watch this season. Losing both this early in the season would be a gut punch. Not to mention, they are already without Spencer Turnbull, whose career was on the upswing before Tommy John surgery knocked him out of commission.
As for Manning himself, the 24-year-old former ninth overall pick made 18 starts last season, putting down a a 5.80 ERA/4.62 FIP over 85 1/3 innings. Today was just his second start of the young season, having tossed six innings of one-run baseball in his season debut against the Red Sox.
For today at least, Drew Hutchison stepped in for Manning, tossing three scoreless innings of one-hit relief. Hutchison could be a candidate to stay in the rotation, should Manning require a stint on the injured list. Michael Pineda is already expected to join the rotation in Mize’s place. The 31-year-old Hutchison is in his second season with the Tigers. He notched a 2.11 ERA over 21 1/3 innings last season in what was his first big league action since 2018.