Detroit Tigers Minor League Report: Quiet on the Farm

Toledo Mud Hens pitcher Matt Manning.
Toledo Mud Hens pitcher Matt Manning. /

The Detroit Tigers narrowly averted disaster thanks to Robbie Grossman’s walk-off winner last night, but four minor-league affiliates weren’t quite as fortunate. Erie, Lakeland, Toledo, and West Michigan went 0-4 and combined to score just five runs. Read below to learn the gory details.

Detroit Tigers Minor League Report

Triple-A: Toledo Mud Hens (2-4)

Matt Manning is one of the Detroit Tigers’ top prospects, and he made his second start of the season last night. As in his first outing, he mixed flashes of dominance with surprising home run issues. Indianapolis lead-off man Travis Swaggerty took Manning deep in the bottom of the first, and then three batters later Will Craig made in 2-0 Indians with a solo shot of his own. Manning settled down nicely, retiring the next 12 batters in order before Andrew Susac hit a homer. Manning has 13 strikeouts and just one walk in 11 innings this year, but he has already allowed six home runs. In 2019 he gave up just seven in 133.2 innings.

The Mud Hens offense scattered eight hits on the night, but they went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and another solo shot from Craig (off Wladimir Pinto) gave Indianapolis the 4-3 win. Toledo’s highlight were either this Cole Peterson triple, or another acrobatic catch from outfielder Derek Hill:

Double-A: Erie SeaWolves (4-3)

Erie kicked off its home schedule with an unfortunate 5-0 loss to Akron, managing just six hits on the night. SeaWolves starter Pedro Payano pitched well, giving up just three hits and two walks (and a hit batter) while striking out 11 over five innings. Unfortunately five of those six baserunners scored in a disastrous 3rd inning, and the offense could never recover. Jacob Robson continued his strong play to begin the year, going 2-for-3 with a triple, but he couldn’t do it alone, and the team’s top prospects Riley Greene and Ryan Kreidler combined to go 0-for-8 with 4 strikeouts.

High-A: West Michigan Whitecaps (2-4)

The Whitecaps player their first home game since late August of 2019, but as with Erie, it was an unfortunate homecoming. West Michigan fell 9-1 to the Great Lakes Loons, managing just two hits on the night. Starter Keider Montero (2IP, 5H, 4ER, BB, 3K) struggled with wildness and pitch efficiency for the second straight outing, and Great Lakes tacked on a few more runs later. Sleeper relief prospect Jared Tobey (1.1 IP, 3K) pitched well, but the offense just couldn’t get moving.

It didn’t help that outfield prospect Bryant Packard was scratched an hour before the game with an unknown ailment. The team’s three 2020 draft picks — Spencer Torkelson, Dillon Dingler, and Daniel Cabrera — combined to 0-for-9 with two walks. The best performance of the game probably came from Parker Meadows, who drew two walks and managed one of the team’s two hits:

Low-A: Lakeland Flying Tigers (3-4)

The story wasn’t much different down in Lakeland, where the Flying Tigers fell 5-1 to the Tampa Yankees. Lakeland starter Gio Arriera (4.1 IP, 3H, 2ER, 4K, HR) flashed some impressive stuff early, touching 97 MPH with his fastball, and he allowed just one hit through four innings. But the Yankees jumped on him for a home run and a single in the 5th, and his day was done. The Flying Tigers managed just three hits, a Wenceel Perez infield single in the 4th inning, a Gage Workman bunt hit in the 9th (he also stole 2nd), and an Eric De La Rosa line-drive single in the 3rd. That hit led to Lakeland’s only run, which featured some sloppy defense from Tampa:

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