LAKELAND, Fla. -- For the second time in three days -- and the third time this year -- the Tigers have lost a highly regarded pitching prospect to injury. Much to the team's relief, Matt Manning isn't expected to miss much time.Manning, the Tigers' No. 2 prospect and baseball's No.
LAKELAND, Fla. -- For the second time in three days -- and the third time this year -- the Tigers have lost a highly regarded pitching prospect to injury. Much to the team's relief, Matt Manning isn't expected to miss much time.
Manning, the Tigers' No. 2 prospect and baseball's No. 55 prospect ranked by MLB Pipeline, will miss at least two weeks after being diagnosed with a low-level oblique strain in Spring Training. He'll be shut down until he's pain-free, the team announced, but is expected to be ready to return to action for Class A West Michigan in a couple weeks around the end of Minor League Spring Training camp.
Manning's injury comes on the heels of news that Tigers top prospect Franklin Perez will miss at least 12 weeks with a lat strain. Closer prospect Bryan Garcia, Detroit's 16th-ranked prospect, underwent Tommy John surgery last month and is expected to miss the season.
Much like Perez, the Tigers are thankful Manning's injury does not deal with the arm, so they expect him to be back pitching in due time. The 20-year-old Manning is the youngest of Detroit's four top-ranked starting pitching prospects, having been drafted with the ninth overall pick of the 2016 Draft. The lanky right-hander is also the most raw of the prospects, having just been pitching the last couple years of high school amidst a budding basketball career that he passed up to go into professional baseball.
Manning completed his first full pro season last year with a late-season stint at West Michigan, leading the Whitecaps into the Midwest League playoffs. He posted a 4-2 record and a 3.71 ERA in 14 starts between West Michigan and Class A Short-Season Connecticut.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.