This is the perfect time for Detroit Tigers right-hander starter Matt Manning to come into form.
When it comes to the Detroit Tigers rotation in 2021, the headlining act was Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal with Matt Manning working on developing a good third pitch down with the Toledo Mud Hens.
You are perhaps familiar with the picture above last season or one of them throwing in spring training. This would be the trio that would carry the Detroit Tigers starting rotation for years to come. And it appears after his 12th start, Matt Manning has figured out how to stick around in the rotation.
Learning on the fly
In last night’s start against one of the best offenses in all of baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays, Manning turned in one of his best starts of the season, going six innings, allowing one run on six hits, walking one, and striking out five.
He was able to generate ten swings and misses with a mix of his fastball, sinker, and slider, which was highlighted very well by the original Matt Manning “truther”, Brandon Day of Bless You Boys just recently. He was able to generate four swings and misses with the slider, allowing him to set up his four-seamer fastball better, which was he was hitting around 95-97 MPH.
The Chris Fetter effect
I feel like a broken record when I say “the Chris Fetter effect” but his work shows here. They focused on what pitches he threw best and ultized them better. His numbers in Toledo suggested he was not ready but it shows again how Triple-A numbers can sometimes be deceiving.
Is Manning in his final form? No, he knows he has work to do but this was another solid step in the right direction. The Tigers have not had this time of homegrown talent in their rotation since Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello in the early 2010’s.
Another off-season work with Fetter’s instructions can assure another step for Manning going forward. The strikeouts will improve and limiting hard contact will certainly follow.