DETROIT -- The Tigers have tried to exercise patience with their gifted young prospect, Matt Manning, as he gets accustomed to the demands of pitching. The right-hander's continued success at Class A Advanced Lakeland, however, has forced the club to give him one more challenge, earning a promotion to Double-A
DETROIT -- The Tigers have tried to exercise patience with their gifted young prospect, Matt Manning, as he gets accustomed to the demands of pitching. The right-hander's continued success at Class A Advanced Lakeland, however, has forced the club to give him one more challenge, earning a promotion to Double-A Erie to close out his second professional season.
The 20-year-old Manning, Detroit's third-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is scheduled to make his first start for the SeaWolves next Wednesday at Harrisburg. Barring rainouts or other issues, he'll be in line to start the SeaWolves' season finale on Labor Day at UPMC Park.
It's the second time in a week that the Tigers have promoted a top prospect as the Minor League season nears its end. Center field prospect Daz Cameron left Erie for Triple-A Toledo last weekend. They're unusual moves so late in the season, but they give both players a taste of the level of competition they'll face next season, and what they'll need to do to prepare for it.
Manning began the season at Class A West Michigan, making 11 starts for the Whitecaps before the Tigers promoted him to Lakeland at the end of June. He went 4-4 with a 2.98 ERA in nine starts for the Flying Tigers, but allowed just 32 hits over 51 1/3 innings with 19 walks and 65 strikeouts. Florida State League opponents hit just .176 against him.
Though Manning gave up a little more damage in his last three starts, his 25 strikeouts over 16 2/3 innings in that stretch showed he was still handling hitters quite well. As a result, he'll join Beau Burrows and Alex Faedo in a star-studded SeaWolves rotation that includes three of Detroit's top five prospects.
Manning fills the spot opened by Spencer Turnbull's promotion from Erie to Toledo. The 25-year-old Turnbull, the Tigers' second-round pick in the 2014 Draft, went 4-7 with a 4.47 ERA in 19 starts for the SeaWolves, striking out 105 batters over 98 2/3 innings.
Norris to make rehab start Sunday at Toledo
Daniel Norris was back at Comerica Park briefly on Saturday, long enough to get his gear and work out a bit. If all goes well for him Sunday at Triple-A Toledo, he could stick around in Detroit for September.
Norris, out since the end of April following surgery on his left groin, will make a rehab start for the Mud Hens on Sunday. He's on schedule to throw about 80 pitches, enough to stretch him out as a starter. If he rejoins the Tigers as a September callup, however, he'll most likely work out of the bullpen.
"If he's healthy and everything's going good, there's a possibility we'll bring him up here," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It would be fun to actually see him up here and pitch."
Norris made three rehab starts this month while working out in Lakeland, allowing two earned runs over 7 2/3 innings with 13 strikeouts between the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and the Class A Advanced Florida State League.
• Outfielder JaCoby Jones went 0-for-4 Friday night in the first of three scheduled rehab games with Triple-A Toledo. Jones, currently on the 10-day DL with a right hamstring strain, is eligible to rejoin the Tigers next Tuesday when they open a two-game series at Kansas City.
• Gardenhire said the Tigers have no plans to shelve All-Star reliever Joe Jimenez, who has given up 12 runs on 11 hits in 8 1/3 innings over his last 10 appearances, including four runs in Friday's loss to the White Sox.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.