DETROIT -- Two players from the rebuilt Tigers farm system will represent the club at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Former top pick Matt Manning and Triple-A Toledo second baseman Dawel Lugo will head to Washington to take part in the festivities at Nationals Park on July 15.Manning, ranked second
DETROIT -- Two players from the rebuilt Tigers farm system will represent the club at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Former top pick Matt Manning and Triple-A Toledo second baseman Dawel Lugo will head to Washington to take part in the festivities at Nationals Park on July 15.
Manning, ranked second on MLB Pipeline's list of top Tigers prospects and 47th on MLB Pipeline's overall prospect list, will pitch for the U.S. Team. Lugo, ranked 12th among Tigers prospects, will pitch for the World Team. It's the first Futures Game selection for both players, and the third consecutive year the Tigers have had two players on the team.
The 20-year-old Manning earned the selection in his first full pro season, having just advanced from Class A West Michigan to Class A Advanced Lakeland last week. The lanky right-hander just struck out nine batters over five scoreless innings of one-hit ball in his Florida State League debut, improving to 4-3 with a 3.12 ERA between the two stops. He has racked up 85 strikeouts over 60 2/3 innings, allowing 48 hits, 30 walks and just three home runs.
The 23-year-old Lugo, acquired from Arizona in the J.D. Martinez trade last July, has been building a case to be Detroit's second baseman of the future while at Toledo. He entered play Friday batting .273 (90-for-330) with 19 doubles and 34 RBIs, though his two home runs and five walks result in a .649 OPS.
MLB.com will live stream and MLB Network will exclusively televise the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at 4 p.m. ET, with Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, Lauren Shehadi and Jim Callis calling the contest live from Nationals Park. The game will also be available to SiriusXM subscribers.
Greene exam shows shoulder inflammation
Closer Shane Greene could breath a sigh of relief Friday after an exam of his ailing right shoulder showed no structural damage.
"Everything has come back about as good as you can expect," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's inflammation in his shoulder, no structural damage at all, a little bursitis which every pitcher has. A little dead-arm syndrome, but basically we got the best news we could possibly get."
Greene, who went on the 10-day DL on Monday following a drop in velocity in his last outing, traveled to Dallas earlier this week to visit with Dr. Greg Pearl, the vascular surgeon who operated on his arm a few years ago after he was diagnosed with an aneurysm.
"I was pretty rattled about how I was feeling," Greene said. "Now that we have answers, I can pitch with a clear mind. Good to go."
Greene plans to resume playing catch Saturday, and hopes to be back pitching before the All-Star break. Whether he goes back to his regular program of throwing before games every day is a topic of discussion. Gardenhire said Friday he'd like Greene to back off of that for now.
"There's obviously going to be some adjustments made along the way," Greene said, "but nothing crazy."
Funkhouser, Robson win Tigers monthly Minors awards
Kyle Funkhouser has been pitching with relatively little fanfare this season at Double-A Erie compared with higher-ranked teammates like Beau Burrows and Alex Faedo. However, the Tigers' seventh-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline, picked up some well-deserved recognition this week with his selection as Tigers Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June.
"Obviously, when you're around better talent, you seem to play better, at least the good ones do," said Funkhouser, who went 4-1 with a 0.94 ERA in five June starts. "They step up to the plate, get promoted and kind of just do what they've been doing. A lot of guys just keep it simple and stay within themselves. When you get outside of your comfort zone and outside of who you are, that's when you really seem to struggle."
Funkhouser might have had some of that early in the season, walking 11 batters over 18 innings in April before posting a 5.03 ERA over six starts in May. He didn't pick up his first victory until June 6, then won four times in a five-start stretch.
A large part of that, Funkhouser acknowledged, was commanding and honing his pitches.
"For the most part, just fine-tuning command, being able to pitch fastball to four quadrants, up down," Funkhouser said. "But for me, the two biggest things were to tighten up my breaking balls a little bit and then just work on and keep developing my changeup and use it more."
Toledo outfielder and Windsor, Ontario, native Jacob Robson won Tigers Minor League Player of the Month honors after batting .304 (31-for-102) with 22 runs scored, eight doubles, three triples, three homers and 19 RBIs between the Mud Hens and SeaWolves. He ranks 26th on MLB Pipeline's Tigers prospect list this season.
• Third baseman Jeimer Candelario was out of the lineup for a second straight game Friday night as the Tigers try to snap him out of an 0-for-9 streak and 7-for-48 slump since June 22.
"Today is no-swing at all, orders by me," Gardenhire said. "I want him to leave the bat alone. He was reluctant, but it doesn't matter. I just don't want him to pick up the bat today. I think he has tired hands and arms, and sometimes you just need to forget the bat and relax a little."
• Gardenhire, who missed a second straight game Thursday due to dehydration, said Friday he feels "a lot better. I haven't eaten a lot, but all the other stuff is kind of gone. I've yelled at a few people, so I'm good."
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.