LOS ANGELES — Roster moves are coming for Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila and manager A.J. Hinch.
On Monday, MLB teams must drop two players from their active roster, going from 28 to 26 players for the remainder of the 2022 season.
Because of the condensed spring training, teams were allowed teams to carry the two extra players through the month of April.
Of those 26, 14 can be pitchers through May 29, thanks to a recent agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association in an effort to monitor player health.
A 13-pitcher limit begins May 30.
“We got to go down two,” Hinch said Saturday. “We know that we have to go to 26 (players). We still have a couple games before we have to do it, but we know the roster has to change pretty soon.”
The Tigers entered Saturday’s game with 14 pitchers on the active roster: Tyler Alexander, Jacob Barnes, Beau Brieske, Andrew Chafin, Michael Fulmer, Drew Hutchison, Joe Jiménez, Alex Lange, Wily Peralta, Michael Pineda, Eduardo Rodriguez, Tarik Skubal, Gregory Soto and Will Vest.
There are 14 position players: catchers Tucker Barnhart, Dustin Garneau and Eric Haase, infielders Javier Báez, Miguel Cabrera, Jeimer Candelario, Willi Castro, Harold Castro, Jonathan Schoop and Spencer Torkelson and outfielders Akil Baddoo, Robbie Grossman, Derek Hill and Austin Meadows.
Cutting two pitchers won’t happen.
“In the month of May, carrying an extra pitcher is awfully appealing, just because of the rigorous schedule that we have,” Hinch said. “We’ve got to make some decisions along the way. We’re pretty well aware of some of our options.”
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The Tigers, though, could dump one relief pitcher and one position player. But they might be even more likely to cast away two position players, thus keeping 14 pitchers on the active roster to go with 12 position players.
Of the 14 pitchers, nine are relievers: Barnes, Chafin, Fulmer, Hutchison, Jiménez, Lange, Peralta, Soto and Vest.
Detroit’s bullpen ranks No. 1 in MLB with a 2.12 ERA.
“If we had to make a move in the bullpen,” Hinch said, “I don’t even know where we would go. Everybody down there is doing a really good job of pitching well when they’re asked to pitch.”
The position players who could be at risk: Garneau, Haase, Willi Castro and Baddoo. Garneau and Haase, the backup catchers, are out of minor-league options, so they would be designated for assignment — and available to be claimed by other teams — if removed from the active roster.
Castro, a utility player, is hitting .214 (3-for-14) with two walks and one strikeout in seven games; Baddoo, an outfielder, is hitting .111 (4-for-36) with three walks and 11 strikeouts in 12 games. Both are below-average defenders.
Mize and Manning throwing again
Mize began his program Monday; Manning started his program in the middle of the week.
“They played a great game of catch,” Hinch said. “Casey is throwing at a little bit longer than Matty is. But they’ll have different rehabs once that starts. Bullpens are coming pretty soon for both of them.”
The Tigers placed Mize, who turns 25 on Sunday, on the 10-day injured list April 15, then sent Manning, 24, to the 10-day injured list April 20, retroactive to April 17. Mize has a 5.40 ERA in two starts; Manning owns a 2.25 ERA in two outings.
Manning could throw his first bullpen as soon as early next week.
“They’re not both going to do the exact same thing,” Hinch said. “We’re very pleased with where they’re at physically. … They’re like a day apart in the initial mapout, but we’ll see who’s first. Casey’s ramp up will be a little bit slower than Matty’s, once they get on the mound.”
The Tigers won’t announce a timetable for Mize’s or Manning’s return until they throw their first bullpens.
Greene not running yet
Outfielder Riley Greene began the season on the injured list and has been sidelined since spring training with a fracture on the bottom part of his right foot. The 21-year-old suffered the injury April 1.
The initial timetable for his return: six to eight weeks.
“He’s had a follow-up already,” Hinch said. “He’ll have another follow-up in a few weeks. We know it’s a slow heal. He’s doing some activity outside of the boot, which is important, but he hasn’t started running or doing anything substantial.”
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Greene, 21, is the Tigers’ No. 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He hit .429 (9-for-21) with three doubles, two triples, two home runs, four RBIs, three walks and six strikeouts in 11 games during spring training.
When Greene is healthy, he will make his MLB debut as the Tigers’ starting center fielder.