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Stewart hits 1st 2 HRs in 1st 2 innings of win

MLB.com

DETROIT -- The Tigers spent Thursday afternoon crushing tape-measure home runs in batting practice at Comerica Park, then took their big swings into an 11-8 win in the series opener against the Royals. Christin Stewart hit his first two Major League home runs in the first two innings, the first as part of back-to-back homers with Nicholas Castellanos, erasing two early deficits on a night when fly balls were carrying despite the flags blowing in.

Stewart, the Tigers' No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, was among the big swingers in batting practice, hitting one ball into the shrubs beyond center field, and another onto the party deck in right. When Royals starter Jorge Lopez hung a 1-1 changeup in the first, Stewart pounced, sending a fly ball just over the right-field fence for his first Major League home run after hitting 93 homers over four seasons in the Minors.

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DETROIT -- The Tigers spent Thursday afternoon crushing tape-measure home runs in batting practice at Comerica Park, then took their big swings into an 11-8 win in the series opener against the Royals. Christin Stewart hit his first two Major League home runs in the first two innings, the first as part of back-to-back homers with Nicholas Castellanos, erasing two early deficits on a night when fly balls were carrying despite the flags blowing in.

Stewart, the Tigers' No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, was among the big swingers in batting practice, hitting one ball into the shrubs beyond center field, and another onto the party deck in right. When Royals starter Jorge Lopez hung a 1-1 changeup in the first, Stewart pounced, sending a fly ball just over the right-field fence for his first Major League home run after hitting 93 homers over four seasons in the Minors.

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"I felt good in BP, but you never know," Stewart said. "I had a good feeling something good was going to happen today."

Video: KC@DET: Stewart, Castellanos go back-to-back in 1st

The Royals surged ahead in the second, chasing starter Matthew Boyd, but back-to-back hits leading off the bottom half brought up Stewart again. This time, he teed off on a hanging slider, belting it about a dozen rows deep into the right-field seats beside the tunnel for a three-run homer and a 7-5 lead.

"You saw tonight that he can get the bat to the ball," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He'll catch up to it and keep going. He's going to be fun to watch."

Stewart recorded his sixth RBI with a bases-loaded walk in the seventh. He is the first Tigers player since 1908 to post a six-RBI game within his first 11 Major League contests. The last Detroit rookie with a six-RBI game was Ryan Raburn, who drove in seven on July 25, 2007.

Video: KC@DET: Fan gets goodies for Stewart's 1st homer

Stewart's six RBIs marked his most in a game since collecting five on Aug. 13, 2015, for Class A West Michigan, his first summer as a pro after the Tigers selected him in the compensation round of that year's Draft. He became the first Detroit player to hit his first two career home runs in the same game since Brent Clevlen on Aug. 1, 2006.

A beneficiary of the expanded rosters in September, Stewart has become the starting left fielder as the Tigers try to get him as much playing time at the Major League level as possible before the season ends. His demeanor has remained calm and consistent as he auditions for a roster spot for 2019.

"After the first couple games, the nerves kind of died away and I just started to play baseball," Stewart said. "Honestly, after the first hit, you get that out of the way, everything just calms down a little bit. You just start playing baseball and having fun and playing loose."

Video: KC@DET: Stewart plates Lugo on bases-loaded walk

The Tigers' bullpen tamed the Royals with 7 2/3 innings of three-run ball. Zac Reininger, who tossed 2 1/3 innings after Boyd's exit, gave up a two-out, two-run home run to Hunter Dozier in the fourth. Five other relievers combined to allow one run over 5 1/3 innings.

In addition to his homer, Castellanos also tripled. Ronny Rodriguez collected three hits and Grayson Greiner went 1-for-1 with two RBIs and two walks.

Video: KC@DET: Stewart, Tigers on 11-8 win over Royals

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Tigers escape jam: After Boyd faced five batters in the second and recorded only one out, Gardenhire brought in Reininger with runners on first and second. He used four pitches to get both Dozier and Salvador Perez to fly out to Stewart in left field, keeping the Tigers' deficit at 5-4.

SOUND SMART
Castellanos recorded his 53rd multi-hit game of the season, tying him for fourth most in the Majors with the Rockies' Nolan Arenado.

HE SAID IT
"There's a reason why everybody calls him one of these top prospects and part of our big future, and he showed you a little bit tonight." -- Gardenhire, on Stewart's big night

UP NEXT
The Tigers continue the series against the Royals at Comerica Park on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Detroit will have Francisco Liriano (5-10, 4.54 ERA) starting. The veteran left-hander is 1-0 with a 2.28 ERA in four starts against Kansas City this season. The Royals will start Ian Kennedy (2-8, 4.73), who allowed two runs over six innings in his last start against the Twins.

Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

Detroit Tigers, Christin Stewart

Tigers call up hurlers Turnbull, Hall

MLB.com

DETROIT -- Spencer Turnbull and Matt Hall were sad alongside their Toledo Mud Hens teammates in Durham, N.C., after being bounced from the Triple-A playoffs on Saturday, but good news was on its way.

"We all sat there in silence for about 10 minutes, just thinking about the game," Hall recalled Monday before the Tigers' series opener against the Astros. "They called in a group of guys and let us know that we're all going to Detroit."

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DETROIT -- Spencer Turnbull and Matt Hall were sad alongside their Toledo Mud Hens teammates in Durham, N.C., after being bounced from the Triple-A playoffs on Saturday, but good news was on its way.

"We all sat there in silence for about 10 minutes, just thinking about the game," Hall recalled Monday before the Tigers' series opener against the Astros. "They called in a group of guys and let us know that we're all going to Detroit."

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One of the other players in that group was outfield prospect Christin Stewart, Detroit's No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline who made his Tigers debut Sunday. Turnbull and Hall (No. 22 prospect) were in Detroit on Monday, and they were called up on Tuesday. Manager Ron Gardenhire said one of them will slot into a six-man starting rotation, and the other will go to the bullpen. Right-hander Johnny Barbato was designated for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for Hall.

"Just being here is a dream come true," Turnbull said. "I'm still processing everything. It definitely hasn't sunk in. Walking out and playing catch in the stadium, that was cool."

"Ever since you started picking up a baseball and throwing it around, your dream is to play in the Major Leagues," said Hall. "And now it's all coming true."

Hall has some experience to draw on. He made an appearance for the Tigers in a Spring Training game against the Blue Jays on Feb. 24, but he was pulled after walking three batters with 12 straight balls.

"It was a great and bad experience," Hall said. "I didn't go out there and do as well as I wanted to obviously, but it was a learning experience for me. It allowed me to have something to build off of throughout the year."

In 10 Triple-A starts this season, Hall maintained a 2.67 ERA. He struck out 59 batters in 57 1/3 innings and walked just 20 for a 1.15 WHIP. What's more, he did that with a fastball that sits in the upper-80s, making his 1.18 strikeouts/inning rate in the Minors this season difficult to understand at first. But Hall explained how an offseason conversation with Double-A Erie pitching coach Willie Blair guided that success.

"He sat down with me and told me what I needed to work on," Hall recalled. "It was mainly fastball command. If you go out there and you can put your fastball where you want it, you can basically do whatever you want. … We worked on it every day down in Erie, just harped and harped on it. Finally it all clicked."

Gardenhire has been clear in the past that he wants expanded roster spots to be used for players who have earned their way, and Hall fits that mold.

"It's a good story," Gardenhire said. "He earned it. That's what you have to do to get up here."

Turnbull's road to the Tigers has had more variance. In 2016, injuries slowed Turnbull's trek through the development system. This year, he went all the way down to Rookie ball for a rehab assignment and made it up to Triple-A on Aug. 25. But it was a relatively healthy campaign that allowed Turnbull to get back on track and eventually get the nod to join the Tigers.

"Just being able to be consistently healthy and be on the field and let everything have time to click definitely has something to do with it," Turnbull said. "But I think also just listening to my coaches help me with the mental side of the game and let everything click at the right time. I don't know how to explain it exactly. Sometimes it's just the right time."

In two starts for the Mud Hens, Turnbull kept opponents to a .178 batting average over 13 1/3 innings. His fastball sits around the mid-90s.

"The one thing I've always heard about this kid is he has stuff," Gardenhire said. "I saw him in Spring Training, and he has that electric stuff that you take notice of. … He's one of the guys that we've talked a lot about being one of the future guys."

Injury notes
Jose Iglesias will see core/groin specialist Dr. William Meyers in the next few days to make sure the shortstop's lower abdomen injury isn't worse than expected. Iglesias went on the 10-day disabled list on Aug. 30.

"He's not really progressing as quickly as we want him to," Gardenhire said.

• Gardenhire said Blaine Hardy is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday or Tuesday and that the left-hander isn't being shut down for the season. Hardy, a versatile reliever who helped patch up an injured starting rotation throughout the season, was placed on the 10-day DL on Aug. 17 with left elbow tendinitis. He was activated on Aug. 31 and hasn't made an appearance since a two-inning outing on Sept. 3 against the White Sox.

Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

Detroit Tigers

'Adrenaline rush' for Stewart in 1st MLB at-bat

Tigers prospect pinch-hits after callup, could start vs. Verlander; Salty, Reininger added to roster
MLB.com

DETROIT -- Christin Stewart was feeling the double effects of 2 1/2 hours sleep and an early-morning regional jet from Durham, N.C., as he rolled up to Comerica Park on Sunday morning. As he saw the Tigers facade and walked into the home clubhouse, he could be excused if he had to pinch himself in case he was dreaming.

"When you've worked your whole life to get to this point and then you finally get here, it's kind of hard to put into words," Stewart said. "I mean, I always dreamed as a little kid to get here, to be a big league baseball player. It's a blessing."

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DETROIT -- Christin Stewart was feeling the double effects of 2 1/2 hours sleep and an early-morning regional jet from Durham, N.C., as he rolled up to Comerica Park on Sunday morning. As he saw the Tigers facade and walked into the home clubhouse, he could be excused if he had to pinch himself in case he was dreaming.

"When you've worked your whole life to get to this point and then you finally get here, it's kind of hard to put into words," Stewart said. "I mean, I always dreamed as a little kid to get here, to be a big league baseball player. It's a blessing."

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The feeling was nothing compared to when he stepped to the plate in the ninth inning for his first Major League at-bat, pinch-hitting against new Cardinals closer Carlos Martinez with his parents in attendance. Stewart worked a full count before popping out to third to end the game, a 5-2 Tigers loss, but he was still feeling the adrenaline afterward.

"Oh, man, just a huge adrenaline rush," Stewart said. "When they told me, 'You might be going in to pinch-hit,' just a lot of emotions. It was a blast. I just loved it."

Video: STL@DET: Stewart on call-up, Major League debut

After two standout seasons at Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, Stewart's time finally arrived. Once the Mud Hens were eliminated from the International League postseason Saturday night, the Tigers made the call to bring up the power-hitting outfielder, their top position-player prospect and No. 6 prospect overall, according to MLB Pipeline.

After a year of practicing patience through questions about his status, from being left out of big league camp in Spring Training to sticking in Toledo while chewing up Triple-A pitching early in the season, Stewart's time has arrived.

"It's all in my best interest," Stewart said. "I had a good couple years, put up some good numbers, but they know what they're doing. It just wasn't my time. Now it is."

Video: STL@DET: Stewart's parents on Christin's callup

Now that it is, Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire plans on getting a good, long look at him in left field. After getting his first at-bat Sunday, Gardenhire said he wouldn't hesitate to start him Monday against the Astros and former Tigers great Justin Verlander.

"He's the guy that we want to see out there playing, so he's going to play a lot this month and get a chance to take some swings," Gardenhire said. "He's part of the future."

Stewart batted .264 (117-for-444) with an .844 OPS at Toledo, tying for the International League lead with 23 home runs while finishing third with 77 RBIs. His 67 walks finished third in the league, resulting in a .364 on-base percentage. While the power was a continuation of his work all the way up the organizational ladder, his plate discipline was an improvement as he learned to think along with pitchers on how to attack him.

The bigger reason for the Tigers' patience, however, was Stewart's defense, allowing him to work with outfield instructor Gene Roof and get repetitions in left field. That comfort level will be tested in the spacious gaps of his new home park.

Video: STL@DET: Gardenhire on Fulmer's start, Tigers defense

"He's made a lot of improvement in the outfield," Gardenhire said. "That will be interesting here in this big outfield, a little bit different probably than what he's been playing in. We'll see how much improvement he's made. I haven't really seen him much at all, didn't get a chance to see him much in Spring Training. It'll be interesting to get a chance to watch him play."

The Tigers' outfield will be shuffled to make room. Mikie Mahtook has been taking fly balls again in center field, where he played for stretches last season while Justin Upton was still around. But while Stewart expects to have a lot of eyes on him, the former first-round Draft pick doesn't want to let it change his game.

Video: STL@DET: Mahtook leaps to rob Bader of a home run

"I always try to be myself," Stewart said. "I have an approach that I go about every day. I never let my highs get too high or my lows get too low. Every day's a new day; that's the beautiful thing about baseball. There's always tomorrow. There's always another game. There's always a day to get better. As long as I stick to my approach and do what I do, everything will take care of itself."

More roster moves

On the other end of Sunday's roster additions was veteran catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, added to the roster to give the Tigers extra depth behind the plate. The 33-year-old, a backup catcher with the Tigers two years ago, spent this entire season in Toledo after signing a Minor League contract late in Spring Training.

Right-hander Zac Reininger was also called up, giving the Tigers some relief depth while giving Reininger his fourth stint in Detroit this season. He has given up 10 runs on 15 hits over 12 innings in 11 appearances this year, walking six and striking out nine.

Video: DET@MIN: Reininger strikes out Field, side in the 3rd

The Tigers already had a 40-man roster spot open for Stewart after releasing Josh Smoker a few days ago. They opened up another for Saltalamacchia by transferring right-hander Artie Lewicki to the 60-day disabled list. He's set to undergo Tommy John surgery later this month.

More September callups are coming once pitchers get a couple days off from the Mud Hens' postseason run. Gardenhire said they'll likely add another starter and go to a six-man rotation next week. Others will fill bullpen roles.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Zac Reininger, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Christin Stewart

Norris doing more pitching with less velocity

Tigers add prospect Peterson to Triple-A roster; Gania joins Tigers' radio booth
MLB.com

DETROIT -- Daniel Norris still believes the old velocity on his fastball will come back with time and repetition. Until it does, however, he believes he's learning lessons about pitching without it.

"Every interview I've done since I've been here has been, 'Why are you throwing 90 [mph]?' And it was obviously right there every time I throw a pitch," Norris said after his no-decision Friday against the Cardinals. "I'm used to being able to throw 94-95 every pitch, and right now if I hit 93, I'm like, 'Oh, that's a plus.' It'll come back."

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DETROIT -- Daniel Norris still believes the old velocity on his fastball will come back with time and repetition. Until it does, however, he believes he's learning lessons about pitching without it.

"Every interview I've done since I've been here has been, 'Why are you throwing 90 [mph]?' And it was obviously right there every time I throw a pitch," Norris said after his no-decision Friday against the Cardinals. "I'm used to being able to throw 94-95 every pitch, and right now if I hit 93, I'm like, 'Oh, that's a plus.' It'll come back."

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"I think the average velo will start creeping back. I don't know when that might be, but I'm learning how to pitch right now."

After two encouraging starts with 14 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings, Norris is going to get every chance to keep pitching down the stretch. What was initially couched as a spot start when he returned from the disabled list a week ago to start at Yankee Stadium is now a full-fledged spot in Detroit's rotation, even if the Tigers have to go to a six-man rotation to fit everyone in.

Video: DET@NYY: Norris fans McCutchen in first Yankees AB 

"I like him where he's at," Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I want him in that rotation. I want to see more of him, because he has stuff. He can pitch. I think he can be a guy down the road. This guy has a chance to do some things. He's athletic, and he's got stuff. I'm happy to have him up here. I'm excited to watch him keep pitching the rest of the way here, and I like him right where he's at in the rotation. We're going to need starters, and he can be one."

Norris drew 11 swinging strikes Friday, eight of them off a fastball that averaged 91 mph and topped out at 92.6. His slider wasn't as sharp as last weekend at Yankee Stadium, drawing three swing-and-misses and three called strikes over 28 pitches. He hit the zone with only one of his five curveballs.

Still, he worked the strike zone relatively well. Foul balls, not balls out of the zone, ran up his pitch count to 90 over five innings.

"I like what I saw last night, and I like what I saw in the first start against the Yankees," Gardenhire said. "I didn't know how he was going to react on that stage. He could've thrown the ball to the backstop. But honestly, until he started cramping up, the ball was coming out of his hand really good in New York, and last night, too."

More than the stuff, however, was the demeanor. Norris didn't get out of his mechanics, either for extra adrenaline or for rushing his delivery. He paid for two fastballs up to Marcell Ozuna, both hit for homers, but didn't lose his composure after that. It's the product, Norris said, of four months of rehab in Lakeland, Fla., following groin surgery.

"Just feeling the body flow freely, that's the main thing," Norris said, "and I think every time I go out there, it feels a little bit better than the time before. Thinking about it, this is only my third real start back. I had a couple rehab starts, but they were just a couple innings on the back fields. It's just getting back into the swing of actually pitching and throwing a baseball 100 times a game."

Tigers add Peterson to prospect ranks
Rarely does an organization acquire a player and add him to a Minor League affiliate's postseason roster, but the Tigers were able to do so with outfielder Dustin Peterson after claiming him off waivers from the Braves on Thursday. He was assigned to Triple-A Toledo in the midst of the Mud Hens' International League playoff series against Durham.

Video: ATL@DET: Peterson clubs a two-run homer to center

Where the 23-year-old hitter, a former second-round Draft pick of the Padres, fits in the organization's plans remains to be seen. But the Tigers saw a chance to add some offensive punch when Atlanta designated him for assignment.

Peterson immediately slid into the 11th spot on MLB Pipeline's Tigers prospect rankings, ahead of Double-A Erie catcher Jake Rogers and up-and-coming infielder Isaac Paredes.

Another September callup
The Tigers' September callups extended to the broadcast booth Saturday, when Erie SeaWolves radio broadcaster Greg Gania made his big league debut as the play-by-play voice on the Tigers' radio broadcast.

Gania, a graduate of Bowling Green State University, has been the voice of the SeaWolves since 2006, seeing current Tigers Nicholas Castellanos, James McCann, Dawel Lugo, JaCoby Jones, Michael Fulmer and Joe Jimenez on their rise through the organization. He's also the SeaWolves' assistant general manager.

For Saturday, Gania pinch-hit for Dan Dickerson, who moved over to television for the Fox Sports Detroit telecast while Matt Shepard fulfilled his obligations as the voice of Eastern Michigan University football. Shepard broadcast the previous two games on TV and is expected to get more opportunities down the stretch along with Dickerson.

Fox Sports Detroit announced Friday that Mario Impemba and Rod Allen will not broadcast any more games this season following a reported pressbox altercation Tuesday in Chicago. Allen was scheduled to work the pre- and postgame show on FSD this weekend, but was not on the broadcast.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Daniel Norris

Rogers setting up as Tigers' catcher of the future

Detroit's No. 11 prospect acquired in Verlander trade last season
MLB.com

ERIE, Pa. -- The Tigers shuttled 34 pitchers through their Double-A roster this season. Their common denominator was the guy behind the plate.

That says a lot about what Jake Rogers meant to the Erie SeaWolves this season. So, too, do the pitchers who threw to him.

ERIE, Pa. -- The Tigers shuttled 34 pitchers through their Double-A roster this season. Their common denominator was the guy behind the plate.

That says a lot about what Jake Rogers meant to the Erie SeaWolves this season. So, too, do the pitchers who threw to him.

"He's incredible, to put it simply," Kyle Funkhouser, the Tigers' ninth-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, said earlier this summer. "He receives really well above average. He throws well above average. And he's really good at adapting to each pitcher.

"I'm really comfortable with him and I trust what he puts down pretty much in any situation. But it's not just me. He does a really good job from pitcher to pitcher, inning to inning, at adapting and knowing pitchers' strengths and reading swings. He's just really, really good back there."

Said Beau Burrows, Detroit's fifth-ranked prospect: "We have the best defensive catcher in all of baseball, I think. It's a good feeling."

Said Alex Faedo, the Tigers' fourth-ranked prospect: "He works really hard. He puts his body on the line. He's very good at receiving. He has a good feel for the game. And he's thrown out like 50 percent of the guys, something ridiculous. I mean, he's got all the tools back there."

Rogers ended up throwing out 56 percent of would-be basestealers by season's end.

"As I've said many times, he's one of the best defensive catchers I've seen," SeaWolves manager and former Tigers Minor League catcher Andrew Graham said. "He can receive. He helps the pitching staff out a lot, getting pitches for them. He's still got a lot to improve on his blocking and game-calling, and game-calling in tight situations, and that comes with experience. He's been pushed pretty quickly, too, being in Double-A in his second full season."

He'll get more experience next month in the Arizona Fall League. After helping Erie's pitching prospects all summer, it's time to work on his own game.

It's a tall task for someone who started 98 games behind the plate this year, the same total James McCann has posted in Detroit over a longer season. But Rogers, Detroit's 11th-ranked prospect, isn't ready for his season to end.

"I think it'll be good to go out there and catch," he said. "Going out there and catching more, getting my body ready to catch more and more in a season, it'll be good."

Video: DET@NYM: Rogers easily throws out Kaczmarski

The Tigers have had remarkable stability behind the plate over the last decade with Alex Avila and McCann. They believed Rogers could be next when they acquired him as part of last summer's Justin Verlander trade. So far, they haven't been disappointed.

The Tigers had stability at Triple-A Toledo with Grayson Greiner and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, so they let Rogers settle in at Erie and handle many of their top pitching prospects. Four of Detroit's top six threw to Rogers at some point, including three members of MLB Pipeline's top 100. That doesn't include Franklin Perez, who pitched to Rogers in the Astros system and was lined up for Erie if not for injuries.

"We've had a lot of good arms, a lot of talented guys come through," Rogers said. "It's been fun, different guys at different times with different ways to pitch. It makes you better when you can call their games and see what their tendencies are and kind of learn them as pitchers, what they like to do, don't like to do."

The one he caught all season was Burrows, who went through an up-and-down campaign with the SeaWolves but showed the arsenal that made him a first-round pick in 2015.

"He goes out there and competes, no matter what his stuff is like," Rogers said. "Some days are better than others for him, but no matter what, he goes out there and competes. And that's what I like about him. When he's up there on the mound, he has a presence. People know it when they face him."

Faedo, Detroit's first-round pick in 2017, joined Erie in mid-June. He went 3-6 with a 4.95 ERA, but struck out 59 batters over 60 innings and had two seven-inning gems in his first pro season.

"When he's on, he's hitting his spots, commanding his fastball," Rogers said. "When he's painting his fastball down and away, slider down in the zone, it's going to be a tough day for hitters."

At the end arrived Manning, the ninth overall pick in 2016 who rose from Class A West Michigan to Erie this year. Rogers caught the 20-year-old for two starts, including six shutout innings in his Double-A debut last week.

"His stuff's electric, man," Rogers said. "That curveball's good. His breaking ball's awesome. I think as he grows, given how good it is right now, it's going to get better. Really bright future for him."

Rogers' offensive game had its own ups and downs. His 17 home runs fell one shy of last year's total in 70 fewer at-bats, but his .219 batting average and .717 OPS were off. Take away a miserable start, however, and Rogers batted .261 with 14 homers and an .885 OPS over his final 58 games.

"The power's in there, and I'm happy with the slight adjustments he made with his swing the last couple of months," Graham said. "A lot more solid contact, a lot more hitting for average, rather than just going for straight power and swinging and missing."

Said Rogers: "It was a slow start, but having guys helping me out and really getting in and focusing on an approach and not trying to be too big, getting good pitches to hit and not chasing out of the zone, stuff like that really helped me. Once I got locked in, I just kept with it."

That will be a focus for him in Arizona, getting more at-bats to settle in with the approach. But it'll also be an endurance test for him as a catcher. He'll at least have another batch of talented pitchers to catch.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Jake Rogers

Manning, Burrows throw bullpen for Tigers

Tigers' top prospects impress Gardenhire, Boyd
Special to MLB.com

CHICAGO -- For all of the video that Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire has seen on pitching prospects Matt Manning and Beau Burrows, he knows nothing is like seeing the future up close.

That chance came on Wednesday when Manning and Burrows threw bullpen sessions for pitching coach Rick Anderson at Guaranteed Rate Field after finishing the Minor League season at Double-A Erie.

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CHICAGO -- For all of the video that Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire has seen on pitching prospects Matt Manning and Beau Burrows, he knows nothing is like seeing the future up close.

That chance came on Wednesday when Manning and Burrows threw bullpen sessions for pitching coach Rick Anderson at Guaranteed Rate Field after finishing the Minor League season at Double-A Erie.

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Manning, the No. 3 prospect in the organization according to MLB Pipeline and Burrows, who is ranked No. 5, got a glimpse of life with the big league club while giving the Tigers a chance to work with them before the season ends.

"It's two guys [the organization] thinks has some promise, so we get a chance to take a look at them," Gardenhire said before Wednesday's game against the White Sox.

Manning struck out 154 hitters over 117 2/3 innings in the Minors this season and compiled a 7-8 record with a 3.29 ERA. The 20-year-old went 0-1 in two starts with Erie and struck out 13 over 10 2/3 innings. Burrows finished 10-9 at Erie with a 4.10 ERA and struck out 127 over 134 innings.

With the Tigers in the midst of a rebuild, Gardenhire said the offseason will be key, not only for players like Manning and Burrows, but for many players who could be looking for work come Spring Training. Gardenhire added that September can also be valuable for young players and veterans alike as the front office considers what the team will look like in 2019.

"Guys have done better and played hard, but over the winter, this team is going to change," he said. "These guys all know that."

Among those to spend time with Manning and Burrows on Wednesday was left-hander Matthew Boyd, who was impressed with what he saw. But he was quick to point out the kind of adjustments both youngsters face when the time comes for them to be called up to the Major Leagues.

"I was just trying explain to them what the constants are through the highs and lows, the valleys and the peaks, success and struggles in the big leagues," Boyd said. "It's inevitable there's going to be a time when you get your teeth kicked in, but it's how you respond to it, how fast you respond to it, [and] how you grow from it is going to determine how you come out of it."

Jeff Arnold is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago.

Detroit Tigers

Driven by future, Tigers overpower White Sox

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The Tigers perhaps got a glimpse of their future against the White Sox on Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Facing opposing starter Lucas Giolito, a major piece of Chicago's rebuild, the Tigers strung together an impressive second inning thanks to potential centerpieces of their own. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Grayson Greiner uncorked a two-run double, and Dawel Lugo followed with another to oust Giolito from the game and boost Detroit to an 8-3 win.

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CHICAGO -- The Tigers perhaps got a glimpse of their future against the White Sox on Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Facing opposing starter Lucas Giolito, a major piece of Chicago's rebuild, the Tigers strung together an impressive second inning thanks to potential centerpieces of their own. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Grayson Greiner uncorked a two-run double, and Dawel Lugo followed with another to oust Giolito from the game and boost Detroit to an 8-3 win.

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"We've faced [Giolito before], so we know what he's got, so it's a matter of getting your pitch to hit," Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. "When he gets on a roll, you end up chasing a lot of pitches. We actually had a better plan against him, because after you face him so many times, you gotta figure out what he's doing."

"They had some really good at-bats, and I just let the game speed up on me," Giolito said. "I just kind of let it speed up and you do that at this level, you're going to have the kind of inning that I had in the second."

Greiner, who has been up and down from the Minors a few times this season, has started to put things together at the plate over the past few weeks. A former third-round Draft pick in 2014, Greiner earned praise from Gardenhire last week in New York. He finished Tuesday night 2-for-4 with a career-high three RBIs.

Video: DET@CWS: Greiner singles in Goodrum to extend lead

With a run-scoring opportunity in front of him in the second inning, Greiner, normally an aggressive hitter, said he approached his at-bat with "a little bit" of a different mentality.

"Especially with bases loaded and no outs, you don't want to get yourself to hit a ground ball early," he said. "I'm not the fastest guy in the world, so they're probably gonna have to turn two. But I'm just looking for something I can hit in the air, and when I got to two strikes, I was looking for something to get the bat on the ball."

Lugo came over as the headliner in last summer's J.D. Martinez trade, and though he struggled at Triple-A Toledo this season, he's established himself in his first week in the big leagues. Since being called up on Aug. 30, Lugo, the No. 14 prospect in the organization according to MLB Pipeline, is 9-for-24 with two doubles, including his two hits against the White Sox.

Gardenhire said Lugo was slowed with an ankle injury during Spring Training, but he is now fully healthy and has started to put things together at the plate and on defense.

"He didn't move laterally very well," Gardenhire said. "The ball that he drove to center field, he killed that ball. That ball made a different sound off of his bat that we've even seen since he's been up here, and he's got quite a few hits. But he's moving well defensively, he's really worked hard on his defense.

"Maybe it's just being in the big leagues has got him fired up and everything. Hopefully he doesn't get too comfortable where he starts slacking off, but that ball that he drove to left-center field, he killed that ball, and that's the kind of stuff that we saw and hoped that we would see."

Video: DET@CWS: Lugo lines a 2-run double to left-center

Francisco Liriano started for Detroit and pitched well, allowing three runs (two earned) in five innings. The White Sox managed to work up his pitch count to 89, but Liriano showed some of his veteran mettle by limiting most of the damage in a three-run fourth inning.

"Early, [Liriano] was pounding strike zone [on] strike one with the fastball," Gardenhire said. "In the fourth he got out of whack a little bit, curveballs in the dirt, changeups away, and he started getting behind in the count. But he regrouped and went back out in the fifth and did fine. We got him through five innings, which is huge for us and for him."

Video: DET@CWS: Liriano fans Castillo to end the 3rd

"I've been struggling the last couple months, but you just have to put that behind you," Liriano said. "Just come here and pitch every five days, give your team the chance to win the ball game, and that's what I tried to do tonight."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Victor's Eleven: While the run production in the big second inning came from the younger Tigers, the team's elder statesman got things going. Victor Martinez led off the frame against Giolito and worked an 11-pitch single, making Giolito throw more pitches against him than the right-hander did in the entire first inning. Giolito recorded only one out in the inning and faced seven hitters.

Video: DET@CWS: V-Mart outlasts Giolito in 11-pitch at-bat

"He's been doing it all year for us, just having quality at-bat after quality at-bat," Gardenhire said. "He sets the tone for us when he has those at-bats. Guys pay attention."

"That was a pretty big at-bat. [Martinez] pulled a lot of pitches, worked," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's a professional hitter, been around a long time. He did what he needed to do to put himself in a position to get the outcome that he did at that point. But a couple of those guys gave them some pretty good at-bats."

SOUND SMART
Liriano earned his first victory since April 28 against the Orioles, snapping a 16-game winless streak.

HE SAID IT
"Every day's a challenge just trying to get better every day. Hitting's hard at any level of professional baseball, but up here it's the best of the best, so you've just got to prepare a little bit harder, work a little bit harder, and good things usually happen when you work hard." -- Greiner

UP NEXT
The Tigers wrap up their three-game series in Chicago at 8:10 p.m. ET Wednesday, when they'll send Jordan Zimmermann (6-6, 4.22 ERA) to the mound. Zimmermann is coming off a solid start during which he allowed just one run on three hits over six innings. In his start before that, however, he allowed five runs in six frames against the White Sox. Chicago will start rookie Michael Kopech (1-0, 0.82).

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Detroit Tigers, Grayson Greiner, Dawel Lugo

Manning gives glimpse of tantalizing talent

Despite so-so season finale, Detroit's No. 3 prospect impresses in third pro campaign
MLB.com

ERIE, Pa. -- Matt Manning's breakthrough season in the Tigers' farm system didn't end the way he wanted on Monday. But as he finished his second start for Double-A Erie, he still left fans and scouts with something to keep in mind for 2019.

After a 32-pitch, three-walk second inning, Manning bounced back with a 10-pitch third that included a three-pitch strikeout on Akron hitter Andrew Calico. Manning dropped a breaking ball on the corner for a called first strike, then hit his spots on back-to-back changeups for two more calls.

ERIE, Pa. -- Matt Manning's breakthrough season in the Tigers' farm system didn't end the way he wanted on Monday. But as he finished his second start for Double-A Erie, he still left fans and scouts with something to keep in mind for 2019.

After a 32-pitch, three-walk second inning, Manning bounced back with a 10-pitch third that included a three-pitch strikeout on Akron hitter Andrew Calico. Manning dropped a breaking ball on the corner for a called first strike, then hit his spots on back-to-back changeups for two more calls.

Manning struck out five of his first 14 batters before five hits in a four-run fifth inning ended his season. But the 20-year-old right-hander provided plenty of smile about.

"I'm pretty happy with how this year has gone, coming off injury and then going from low-A to here," said Manning, whose season began late thanks to an oblique strain. "That's all stuff that I wanted to work for."

Tweet from @beckjason: Happy Labor Day from Erie, where Matt Manning closes his impressive season today with his second start for @erie_seawolves. pic.twitter.com/2b68AseHgr

Manning will have one more chance to make an impression Wednesday in Chicago, where he and fellow SeaWolves starter Beau Burrows will throw bullpen sessions for Tigers pitching coach Rick Anderson. It doesn't mean they'll compete for Detroit's rotation next spring, but they've done enough that the staff wants to see them.

"Just hang around, see what's been going on since Spring Training, go with them on the field and see them throw it," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters Monday in Chicago. "And these guys are a little more advanced than the others. Andy's been talking about it."

While the Tigers have added top college arms in the past two Drafts with Alex Faedo and Casey Mize, Manning has emerged as potentially the best of their five prized pitching prospects. Detroit used the ninth overall pick in 2016 on the two-sport star who didn't begin pitching until high school, believing his body frame and athleticism as the son of a former pro basketball player would allow him to learn and adapt.

What Manning did this season exceeded expectations, even for someone ranked third among Tigers prospects and 56th in baseball by MLB Pipeline.

After returning to Class A West Michigan to begin 2018, Manning not only earned a midseason promotion to Class A Advanced Lakeland, he quickly ruled the Florida State League, despite being three years younger than the league average. Beyond a 4-4 record and a 2.98 ERA in nine starts was a .994 WHIP; he allowed just 32 hits and 19 walks over 51 1/3 innings while striking out 65 batters. Midway through the year, he was rewarded with a selection to Team USA in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

After Manning struck out 25 batters over just 16 2/3 innings in his final three starts for Lakeland, the Tigers gave him one more challenge. He blanked Harrisburg for six innings with eight strikeouts in his Double-A debut, then encountered growing pains on Monday.

"First game, he had really good command," Erie pitching coach and former Tiger Willie Blair said. "Today, he wasn't quite as sharp."

Video: Top Prospects: Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers

Even so, Manning threw as many first-pitch breaking balls as fastballs, spotting them for strikes more often than not. His changeup, a show-me pitch last year, is more useful, setting up a mid-90s fastball. When he missed the outside corner, it wasn't by much, and he went back to it.

"Being able to throw different pitches in different counts, I don't have to rely on my fastball to try to get out of jams," Manning said. "It's been good just being able to rely on all three of them and have different weapons."

By the fifth, the combination of 117-plus innings this year, late-summer heat and an aggressive Akron lineup caught up with him. Still, averaging 6.9 hits and 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings across three levels made for an impressive bottom line.

"I think he's got a chance to have three plus pitches and have really good command," Blair said. "He's got a lot of intangibles, got a lot of tools. Great kid, works hard, good head on his shoulders. I think he's going to be really good."

The numbers were more mixed on Burrows, a midseason callup to Erie at age 20 last summer. Detroit's No. 5 prospect lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his each of his last two starts, using 100 pitches in his finale Saturday, but he also had two second-half outings of seven innings of one-run ball.

Video: Top Prospects: Beau Burrows, RHP, Tigers

Though Burrows' fastball was erratic Saturday, the difference between good outing and bad for him usually comes down to his curveball and slider -- sometimes sharp, sometimes flat, sometimes wild.

"My curveball and slider have gotten way better than the beginning of the year," said Burrows, who went 10-9 with a 4.10 ERA in 26 starts while striking out 127 batters over 134 innings. "I'm more comfortable with them now. I have trust in them."

A promotion to Triple-A Toledo never came, but Burrows might be better for it.

"It's all about consistency, with all his pitches," SeaWolves manager Andrew Graham said.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers

Tigers waiting for Mud Hens to finish for callups

Norris, Baez return as rosters expand for September
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- With August in the rearview mirror, Major League active rosters have officially expanded from 25 players to 40, and the Tigers made their first two moves prior to Saturday's contest at Yankee Stadium.

As expected, lefty Daniel Norris was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list to start Saturday after undergoing groin surgery at the beginning of May, filling the last spot on Detroit's 40-man roster. The Tigers also recalled right-hander Sandy Baez from Double-A Erie.

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NEW YORK -- With August in the rearview mirror, Major League active rosters have officially expanded from 25 players to 40, and the Tigers made their first two moves prior to Saturday's contest at Yankee Stadium.

As expected, lefty Daniel Norris was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list to start Saturday after undergoing groin surgery at the beginning of May, filling the last spot on Detroit's 40-man roster. The Tigers also recalled right-hander Sandy Baez from Double-A Erie.

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Baez made his first and only big league appearance June 4 in the first game of a doubleheader against the Yankees. He tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four batters and walking three.

"Baez came up to pitch for us earlier. Norris is going to be fun to see. I'm excited to watch him pitch," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Right now, watching Norris pitch is a good one, and we know what Baez did last time when he came up and it was against the Yankees."

The 24-year-old righty pitched in 33 games for the SeaWolves, making 15 starts. Baez was 1-9 in the 2018 season with a 5.64 ERA. He recorded 86 strikeouts and walked 46 batters over 103 2/3 innings.

The Tigers are expected to call up a few more pitchers and an outfielder, but Gardenhire said the team will not call up any players from Triple-A Toledo until the Mud Hens' season comes to a close. Entering Saturday, Toledo was a half-game behind the first-place Columbus Clippers in the International League West standings.

"You don't want the disappointment," Gardenhire said. "What happens is not so much the guys coming up here, they're all great. But the guys who think they might have a shot, the disappointment, you don't want that. They're trying to do something good down there. So it never bodes well when you do something like that."

Gardenhire said if his club were in a pennant race, the big league needs would then outweigh the Minors. However, because the potential postseason run is occurring in Triple-A rather than for the Tigers, he wants the prospects' focus to be on their current team.

"If they're not in a pennant race, I get it, but these guys? You got to leave them alone," Gardenhire said. "You start announcing and half of them go in the tank because, 'Hey, I thought I'd be called up.' Right now they're focused on this. It's easier just to wait, believe me. I've been on both sides of it."

The regular season for the Mud Hens ends Monday. The rest of the September callups' arrival to the Major League club will then depend on what happens beyond the start of next week.

"They have a legit chance," Gardenhire said. "Good for them. They've battled through us taking all of their players, they've started bullpen days. Because of the injuries we've had, we've really screwed with that team. [Toledo manager Doug Mientkiewicz] and them have done a heck of a job. They've done a really good job because we took a lot of players right in the middle of it. I mean, we've taken their starter the day of and them going bullpen days. That's a good run by those guys."

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

Detroit Tigers, Sandy Baez, Daniel Norris

Lugo doubles in debut after Iglesias hits DL

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Prior to Thursday night's series opener against the Yankees, the Tigers placed shortstop Jose Iglesias on the 10-day disabled list with a lower abdominal strain and recalled infielder Dawel Lugo from Triple-A Toledo.

Lugo doubled for his first Major League hit leading off the sixth inning in an 8-7 win at Yankee Stadium.

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NEW YORK -- Prior to Thursday night's series opener against the Yankees, the Tigers placed shortstop Jose Iglesias on the 10-day disabled list with a lower abdominal strain and recalled infielder Dawel Lugo from Triple-A Toledo.

Lugo doubled for his first Major League hit leading off the sixth inning in an 8-7 win at Yankee Stadium.

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Iglesias was removed from Wednesday's game against the Royals in the fourth inning after aggravating the injury that he said had been bothering him for a couple of days. He had an MRI in New York on Thursday afternoon, but he was placed on the DL before manager Ron Gardenhire received the results.

"He's pretty sore, so 10 days," Gardenhire said. "Hopefully it'll only be that. Hopefully it's not something a little more severe."

Video: DET@KC: Iglesias exits with lower abdominal injury

Although Iglesias will be down for at least the next 10 days, the Tigers now have to wait for the MRI results to see if Iglesias -- who is second on the team in RBIs (48), hits (116) and doubles (31) -- will be out longer than the required period.

Lugo, ranked as the club's No. 14 prospect by MLB Pipeline, has been in the Tigers' farm system since being acquired as part of the J.D. Martinez trade with the D-backs in July 2017.

"We'll get him out there and see what he can do, and see how he matches up against the Yankees," Gardenhire said. "That'll be a big enough playing field for him. He's excited, I know that. We had him up here early and really didn't get him much action. It'll be good to see him play."

The 23-year-old Lugo slashed .269/.283/.350 with 26 doubles and 59 RBIs in 123 games for the Mud Hens this year, splitting the majority of his defensive time in August between second and third base.

"You know what, everybody thought he was going to be a third baseman, so we're kind of putting him in the middle of the field and I'm sure it's a work in progress," Gardenhire said. "He's a young player, but the plan was to get him up here and take a look at him."

September callups
Gardenhire said the plan was to bring up two position players -- including Lugo -- when the rosters expand. Now that Lugo has already joined the big league club, an outfielder will serve as the only other additional position player to be called up, along with a handful of pitchers. Gardenhire was reluctant to list names of specific players expected to be getting the call, as he doesn't want to mess too much with Toledo in the middle of its playoff run.

"The guys we're going to bring up here are going to be playing," Gardenhire said. "They're going to be playing a lot, pretty much the whole time. That's going to leave me with a bench that I can move other people around and give them breaks when you need them. But you would still like to have a couple extra bodies. Would be nice. But we'll have plenty of pitching."

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

Detroit Tigers, Jose Iglesias

Cameron highlights star-studded AFL rosters

Baez, Rogers also headline the group of 7 Tigers prospects
MLB.com

A year after the Justin Verlander trade, two of the three prospects the Tigers received in return from the Astros will be on display in the Arizona Fall League. Fast-rising outfielder Daz Cameron and catcher Jake Rogers, two of the top position prospects in Detroit's farm system, will play for the Mesa Solar Sox.

Double-A Erie relievers Sandy Baez and John Schreiber headline the Tigers' pitching prospects headed to the AFL, along with Eduardo Jimenez. Infielder Danny Pinero and outfielder Danny Woodrow round out the group.

A year after the Justin Verlander trade, two of the three prospects the Tigers received in return from the Astros will be on display in the Arizona Fall League. Fast-rising outfielder Daz Cameron and catcher Jake Rogers, two of the top position prospects in Detroit's farm system, will play for the Mesa Solar Sox.

Double-A Erie relievers Sandy Baez and John Schreiber headline the Tigers' pitching prospects headed to the AFL, along with Eduardo Jimenez. Infielder Danny Pinero and outfielder Danny Woodrow round out the group.

The Arizona Fall League provides Major League teams a chance to give advanced prospects extra work and instruction in October and November while pitting them against top talent across the Minors. The Tigers haven't sent many of their top prospects over the last few years, but this year's group reflects the influx of talent the club has stockpiled in trades since beginning a rebuilding process last summer.

Video: ATL@DET: Cameron drives in Sedio with a sacrifice fly

Cameron's assignment is his latest step up in a system that began for him at Class A Advanced Lakeland and will end in Triple-A Toledo, having been promoted to the Mud Hens two weeks ago. The athletic center fielder, who is the son of former Major Leaguer Mike Cameron, is batting .267 (121-for-454) between Lakeland, Erie and Toledo, with 24 doubles, nine triples, eight homers, 59 RBIs, a .759 OPS and 23 stolen bases.

Cameron is currently ranked as the Tigers' No. 8 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

The Tigers wanted to add Rogers to their AFL contingent last fall after acquiring him from the Astros on Aug. 31, 2017, as part of the Verlander package, but the deal came together too late. He'll take part this year coming off a strong season at Double-A Erie in which he took charge of a talented pitching staff, threw out Eastern League basestealers in abundance and overcame a slow start at the plate.

Rogers, ranked as the Tigers No. 11 prospect, is batting .221 (75-for-340) for the SeaWolves with 17 home runs, 53 RBIs and a .726 OPS -- including an .815 OPS since the All-Star break.

The AFL should be a good test for Schreiber, who has risen from a 15th-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft to the closer's role at Erie this season. The 24-year-old native of Wyandotte, Mich., and University of Northwestern Ohio product has converted 17 saves in 22 chances, while going 3-7 with 2.57 ERA. He has 59 strikeouts over 56 innings.

Video: NYY@DET: Baez fans Stanton for his 1st MLB strikeout

Baez is the one member of the group who has been in the Majors already, having made a long-relief appearance for the Tigers in a June doubleheader against the Yankees. The 24-year-old right-hander has spent the rest of the season with the SeaWolves, going 1-9 with a 5.64 ERA in 15 starts and 18 relief appearances.

Like Schreiber, Woodrow has made a steady climb in the Tigers' system since being selected in the 2016 Draft. The former 12th-round pick out of Creighton has spent nearly the entire season at Erie, batting .313 (102-for-326) with three homers, 36 RBIs, a .760 OPS and 18 stolen bases.

Jimenez will get a push after spending the entire season in the Lakeland bullpen. The 23-year-old righty is 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA and 14 saves, while striking out 50 batters over 49 innings.

Pinero has spent the full season at Lakeland, rotating at the corner-infield spots as well as shortstop and left field. The University of Virginia product and ninth-round Draft pick in 2016 is batting .259 (105-for-405) with 25 doubles, nine homers, 58 RBIs and a .740 OPS.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers

Manning moves up to Double-A Erie

Norris has chance to rejoin Tigers in Sept.; Jones to return next week
MLB.com

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.

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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.

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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.

Quick hits

• 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.

Detroit Tigers

Inbox: What role best suits utility man Goodrum?

Beat reporter Jason Beck answers questions from fans
MLB.com

Cleaning out the Tigers Inbox for the first time since the Trade Deadline (apologies to those whose trade questions went unanswered):

Cleaning out the Tigers Inbox for the first time since the Trade Deadline (apologies to those whose trade questions went unanswered):

Tweet from @Nick_Fritsch: What do you see as Goodrum���s best role going into next season. Tv guys were saying outfield, but I think he���s taken to 2nd nicely. Do we have so many guys gunning for second that are more deserving?

If you go by the metrics, Niko Goodrum's best position is the outfield, where he's average to above. But I still subscribe to the idea that different positions have different offensive expectations, and Goodrum's .737 OPS looks better in the middle infield than in the outfield.

:: Submit a question to the Tigers Inbox ::

That said, I actually think Goodrum's most valuable role might be to not have a set position. With another rebuilding season ahead and position prospects just beginning to near the big leagues, it's not hard to envision him getting close to everyday playing time without necessarily having an everyday position. Players who can do that are incredibly valuable, and Goodrum has that ability.

Tweet from @tigersdebate011: Is there even a slim chance that the tigers bring up Stewart, Robson, Hall, or Houston? And how much September call ups are generally made?

Outfielder Christin Stewart (Tigers' No. 6 prospect) could get a look, as could left-hander Matt Hall (No. 21). Outfielder Jacob Robson (No. 16) and right-hander Zac Houston were both drafted in 2016, and I'd be a little surprised if Detroit would use 40-man roster spots on them so soon.

Hall impressing in Minors with 'spin rate'

Tweet from @Mike2830: Why are the Tigers so reluctant to bring up prospects like Robson and Hall who deserve a look? I realize they���re not on the 40 man roster but there are so many guys that could be removed to make room

It's not simply about clearing space on the 40-man roster. Once players go on the roster, Minor League options begin to come into play, putting teams potentially in a roster bind sooner than they want. Plus, those 40-man roster spots are occupied for the offseason, limiting the Tigers' flexibility when looking for free agents and trades. The only way to get those players off the 40-man roster would be to designate them for assignment and risk losing them on waivers.

Who is the shortstop and second-base combo in 2019
-- @SifferMichael

Though No. 14 prospect Dawel Lugo's season numbers at Triple-A Toledo don't jump out, he has done well enough to warrant a look at second base next season. As for shortstop, that's anyone's guess. Jose Iglesias will be a free agent this coming offseason, but given the relatively modest trade interest, his potential free-agent market is tough to gauge. The only shortstop in Detroit's system who's arguably Major League ready, meanwhile, is Dixon Machado, who could get another look at his more natural position after losing the starting job at second base this summer.

Tweet from @bp200219: Who is most likely to play LF and CF (and OF bench) to start next season out of Jones, Stewart, Robson, Mahtook, Gerber + Reyes?

I'll go with JaCoby Jones, Stewart and Mike Gerber. Jacob Robson just got to Triple-A Toledo this summer. Victor Reyes needs more time to develop once his Rule 5 Draft requirements are met.

Tweet from @Mario200K: Do you think Paredes and Cameron get some top 100 discussion going info next year with how both have performed this year?

I prefer to leave those matters to Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and the fine folks at MLB Pipeline. I could see Daz Cameron (No. 8 prospect) getting consideration with a strong late-season push. Isaac Paredes (No. 12) would be tougher, since he's just outside the Tigers' top 10 prospect rankings at this point.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers