Detroit Tigers RHP-Matt Manning
Brandon Day of Bless You Boys.com has been the most patient one when it comes to the progress of Matt Manning and I am starting to understand why. He showed signs of maturity towards the end of the season, which we will address shortly. Manning started the season in Toledo, working on sequencing his pitches better until he was called up due to injuries on the staff.
Just looking at his numbers on the surface, 4-7 with an ERA of 5.80 and a WHIP of 1.51, they do not look good. Add a K rate of 14.8 and a walk rate of almost 9 and the picture looks more cloudy but let’s look beyond the stat line.
Two starts stand out to me. His August 27th start on the road against Toronto and his September 15th start also on the road against the Brewers. Both were quality starts against two contending teams and both starts showed when he is sequencing his pitches better, he can generate more swings and misses. Against Toronto, he generated 10, and against the Brewers, he generated 12. Even in his final start against the White Sox, he was able to generate 8.
He had to learn “on the job” against the tougher part of the Tigers schedule. Manning will have to strike out more batters but all things considered, he was healthy (shut down last season due to forearm tightness) and another off-season with pitching coach Chris Fetter should help his growth.
A.J Hinch challenged his rookies
There were numerous times that manager A.J Hinch left his three rookie starters in the game during a tough inning but his patience paid off. Throughout the season, one moment stood out and summed up how Hinch felt about trusting his rookies.
The Tigers may look for another pitcher in the off-season to help out the rotation but at least the foundation is set for 2022.