Detroit Tigers: Matt Manning velocity down as part of slower ramp-up

Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Manning gets loose and stretches before his bullpen session during Spring Training.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Manning gets loose and stretches before his bullpen session during Spring Training. / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Detroit Tigers starter Matt Manning is taking his time this Spring.

Detroit Tigers right-handed pitcher Matt Manning is taking his time tuning up for the 2023 season in Lakeland. The Tigers saw Manning make his first start of the 2023 Spring Training schedule, and his velocity was noticeably low.

In his first spring training start for the Detroit Tigers, Manning pitched in two innings where he allowed three hits, surrendered one run, and punched out a batter. The concern was not his stat line but rather the velocity on his fastball being 88-90 mph in his first inning of work.

Cody Stavenhagen tweeted that the curveball looked really sharp and was a solid offering that Manning thew, but the fastball velocity was way down, even lower than it was during his Live BP sessions.

This would be concerning for the most part. It's usually something to watch and even worry about, but Manning tried to put any concerns to bed after his first outing of the spring training campaign. Chris McCosky tweeted that Manning said the slow ramp-up this spring is by design as he continues to try and prepare for the 2023 season.

What sticks out is his comments about being able to get stretched out and be ready and able to throw throughout the What2023 season. As he tries to lock down a spot in the Tigers rotation, Manning is trying to get off on the right foot, and he views the slow ramp-up as a way to accomplish that.

In 2022, Manning made 12 starts for the Tigers. He pitched to a 3.43 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP and accumulated 63.0 innings of work. Manning surrendered 19 walks and was able to punch out 48 opposing hitters last summer while pitching for the Tigers.

Last year he battled some injury trouble. A shoulder strain had him missing time early on, and then a forearm strain caused his season to come to an end early to ensure no further damage was done.

He has since rehabbed and is back on the mound, but Manning is taking his time in 2023. The slow ramp-up is not something to be concerned about yet. He will get more opportunities this Spring and be back on the mound.

It's undoubtedly something to keep an eye on, though, as the spring continues. Fans can definitely keep an eye on this to see how things go for Manning ahead of the 2023 season.

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