Detroit Tigers: Matt Manning’s return helps the big picture

The Detroit Tigers are hoping that Matt Manning can get back to normal on the mound, this could change the big picture for this team.

The Detroit Tigers have struggled to do much with their starting rotation. Especially with the injury bug decimating the team's staff early. They have relied on unlikely sources and promoted Tarik Skubal to the team's role of the “ace.”

One of those pitchers who ended up missing more time than expected was right-hander Matt Manning. The former first-round pick made two starts for the Tigers before his season was halted, and he had to head to the Injured List (IL).

After Casey Mize headed to the IL, dealing with issues that led to him undergoing Tommy John surgery, Manning seemed next in line. He was dealing with shoulder soreness that led to prolonged rest and rehab for the righty. But recent signs point to him being able to make a return to the Tigers rotation.

According to a recent article on the Detroit Free Press website from Evan Petzold, Manning is fresh off a rehab stint where he had some of his best stuff, according to A.J. Hinch. Petzold later mentioned that Hinch assured the Tigers will take their time and work him back in slowly, not to rush anything and risk re-injury.

Manning's outing lasted 5.2 innings pitched with him allowing no runs, punching out six opposing hitters. A far cry from his 4.1 inning outing on July 22nd, where he gave up seven hits and four runs.

Detroit Tigers getting Matt Manning means more for the bigger picture.

The Detroit Tigers have to be looking for Manning to make a splash when he returns. The thing is, there's more to his return than adding some more depth to the rotation. Manning was considered one of the organization's best pitching prospects as he came up. He should still be regarded as someone to be excited about; there is still plenty of upside for Manning's future in Detroit.

As long as Manning can stay healthy, things bode well long term. Providing the Tigers do not start rebuilding during the rebuild, they can use Manning as a piece to build around. Manning coming back bodes well for the long-term. He will be able to work through more experience in the big leagues with fewer consequences.

Essentially, it's not as high-leverage situation every outing. Manning is able to work back into the rotation and finish the season wrong if all goes well. It's a good set-up moving forward. The upside with Manning was likely more of a mid- or backend of the rotation role, but he gets the opportunity to try and develop into a consistent true big leaguer starter.

While many are throwing in the towel this season, expecting the team to be torn down again and rebuilt again. The Tigers have tools to build around whether people want to acknowledge it or not. Are there pieces that need to be improved? Yes. Are there players the Tigers thought they could build around that are not living up to the hype? Yes.

The thing is, the Tigers have tools. They have pieces that could be great; they need to ignite a spark for this team and get things to turn around. While it will not happen in 2022, the team needs to use this time to work these players into a position to come out strong in 2023.


The Tigers have a chance to flip the switch and turn things around in 2023, but it starts now. Manning returning and getting to work his way back into the lineup is huge for the bigger picture of this rebuild.