Detroit Tigers already having pitcher issues before Spring Training?

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals
Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals / Kyle Rivas/GettyImages

We are still months away from spring training and the Detroit Tigers already have questions about the pitching staff. The rotation has concerns as some of the rotation has suffered some injuries, a few more severe than others. While some may back before spring training, there is a small concern as to if they will be at full strength and fully recovered enough to pitch.

The list of injuries consists of LHP Tarik Skubal, who had flexor tendon surgery on Aug. 17. No timetable is set for his return, as this surgery has a timetable of six-nine months for pitchers.
RHP Casey Mize had Tommy John surgery on June 15. He too has no timetable for his return but could see action sometime in late 2023.

RHP Spencer Turnbull also had Tommy John surgery. He was kept out of action during the 2022 season but is now symptom-free and should be at full strength for spring training. LHP Sean Guenther also had Tommy John surgery. He was claimed off of waivers by the Detroit Tigers knowing he was in rehab. He is expected at spring training. RHP Alex Faedo had right hip surgery in the off-season. He is currently throwing from 90 feet with no issues and is expected for spring training.

That begs the question of who can fill those spots. There may be spots open at the beginning of the season or there could be spots open for the entire season depending on how some of these pitchers recover. Is there any pitcher ready to make that leap and take a spot? Or are the Detroit Tigers desperate for pitching already? Below are a few options for pitchers who could take a spot or two.

Wilmer Flores is an option who may be major-league-ready. He has been dominant at the minor league level and could be ready for his major league debut. He has major league stuff and averaged 11 strikeouts per nine innings.

Beau Brieske is another option. The 24-year-old pitched with the Detroit Tigers during the 2022 season, where he posted a record of 3-6, with a 4.19 ERA, 54 strikeouts, and a 1.290 WHIP. Brieske was selected in the 2019 MLB Draft by the Tigers, going in the 27th round at 802 overall. Brieske is a good fastball pitcher who tops out at an average of 94 mph and uses it 53% of the time. He could fill a rotation spot, albeit a fourth or fifth starter spot.

Finally, Matt Manning. The 25-year-old showed promise last season in the rotation. Although still young, he does have MLB experience now and can use that to his advantage. Manning posted a record of 2-3 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP with 48 strikeouts. For his career, Manning has a record of 6-10 with a 4.79 ERA, 105 strikeouts, and a 1.37 WHIP. Like Briske, Manning could occupy a fourth or fifth spot in the rotation. A young, talented pitcher who has a lot of promise.

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