The Tigers can’t seem to catch a break with injured pitchers. Starter Mike Fiers has been experiencing back pain, prospect Franklin Perez will miss 12 weeks with a lat strain, and now prospect Matt Manning has suffered a low-level oblique strain.
Manning, who was a first round draft pick by the Tigers in 2016, has been open about his desire to advance to the Lakeland Flying Tigers this season, but that goal may have received a setback thanks to this new oblique strain.
The Tigers don’t expect Manning to miss any significant play time, saying he will be on rest until the pain is gone, and once that has passed he will start throwing again. He will participate in extended spring training afterwards for a couple of weeks, then he will be sent to Single-A West Michigan, where he pitched last season.
It’s certainly not out of the question Manning will see play time in Lakeland High-A this season, but the injury will mean the Tigers might take their time before moving him beyond West Michigan, ensuring he is not at risk for aggravating his oblique further.