Future now: Manning joins Mize, Skubal

June 19th, 2021

ANAHEIM – The arrival of Matt Manning to the Majors on Thursday night signaled what manager A.J. Hinch said was not only the future of the Tigers pitching staff, but the future of the organization as a whole.

Manning, the club’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, threw five innings and allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts in his debut.

He joined former top prospects Casey Mize (No. 2 in 2020) and Tarik Skubal (No. 5 in '20) in The Show after the trio spent time together in the Minors. But even as the young pitchers get acclimated to the big leagues, Hinch is striving for that bright future to become the present.

“I don't want to look to the future though,” Hinch said. “I want that to be right now. So, we've got to do a lot of work to get these guys ready on a day-to-day basis.”

Manning, who made his first start in his home state of California, said postgame that both Skubal and Mize shared their debut experiences with him. He noted that the advice they gave was “stuff that you can't explain,” but overall, he looked to build off the success Mize and Skubal had in their last starts, with the two notching wins back-to-back against the Royals.

“Watching those guys pitch the last few days, I really wanted to go off what they did and just continue to trend, and hopefully, it's a trend for a long time,” Manning said on Thursday night.

Mize and Skubal are tied -- with Spencer Turnbull and Michael Fulmer -- for the team’s lead in wins with four. Mize has posted a 3.49 ERA across 77 1/3 innings while Skubal holds a 4.36 ERA in 66 innings.

With the bigger picture in mind, Hinch said he envisions the trio moving lockstep going forward. He noted that it can serve as a starting point for getting acclimated to the bigs.

“You're going to build a team with a player-development-centric mentality and a homegrown mentality, which we've done,” Hinch said. “It's good that they played together.”