SP Matt Manning
Manning needs to have a big season in 2023. It's time to see what the former first-round pick can do. Unfortunately, he's gotten off to a rough start in spring training.
His first three starts were particularly bad. His velocity was down and he had no command. It looked like he was destined for Toledo. However, in yesterday's start against the New York Yankees, he looked much better.
He didn't allow a run in 3.2 IP, struck out four and walked one. Perhaps more importantly, his velocity was back up to 95 mph on his fastball, though he still had trouble locating it. His secondary stuff looked the best it has all spring as well. His slider was particularly effective.
That was a very promising outing for Manning and one that he desparately needed. If he struggled again, it would have almost certainly meant that he was going to start the season at Triple-A. With that being said, I think he needs to not only replicate that performance, but build upon it.
He's likely going to get one more start before the start of the regular season. He needs to locate his fastball more precisely. That was the one thing from yesterday's outing that could stand to improve.
Yesterday was by far the closest to good Matt Manning that we had seen all spring, but further refinement is still needed. Hopefully we see more progress in his next start.