Detroit Tigers prospect Riley Greene passed his test.
He underwent a medical examination Thursday on his right foot, which he fractured April 1 in spring training. The results of the checkup cleared Greene to begin baseball activities.
The 21-year-old ran on flat ground Friday in Lakeland, Florida, doing so for the first time since injuring the bottom-inside part of his foot. If not for his setback, the top prospect would have made the Tigers’ Opening Day roster.
“Now we can ramp him up as we normally would in a rehab program without a lot of concern about the foot,” manager A.J. Hinch said Friday. “He’ll start to be a little more aggressive in his normal routine to getting back up to being a baseball player again.”
WHAT HAPPENED: Tigers dig deeper into hole with every loss. Here’s how things went south so quickly
JEFF SEIDEL: Tigers consistently blow chance after chance. But they could learn from this rookie
So, what’s next?
Eventually, Greene will start a rehabilitation assignment with Low-A Lakeland.
Hinch said the Tigers have not determined an official start date, but according to a person with knowledge of the situation, the “rough plan” is for Greene to play in his first game May 29, thus beginning his rehab assignment. He could join the Tigers in June.
“There’s a lot that has to happen before he gets into games,” Hinch said.
Before Thursday’s checkup, Greene had been hitting, throwing and working on his defense in controlled settings. Now, the Tigers will give him more freedom and increase his workload as part of his rehab program.
Greene needs to run the bases, chase down fly balls and face live pitching. He must complete these activities, among others, at full speed (and without any foot setbacks) before entering Low-A Lakeland’s lineup.
Once Greene is ready for his MLB debut, he will slot in as the Tigers’ starting center fielder. Austin Meadows and Robbie Grossman are the corner outfielders.
Greene is the No. 5 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, and hit .429 (9-for-21) with three doubles, two triples, two home runs, four RBIs, three walks and six strikeouts across 11 games in spring training.
Casey Mize in Toledo
Right-hander Casey Mize, who landed on the 10-day injured list April 15 with a right elbow sprain, took a key step Thursday in his return to the Tigers’ starting rotation. He appeared in his first rehab start for Triple-A Toledo.
But Mize got rocked.
NOTEBOOK: Gregory Soto not fazed by recent struggles: ‘It’s just a baseball thing’
The 25-year-old gave up three runs on four hits, recording two outs in the first inning before his pitch count forced his exit. He threw 16 of his 29 pitches for strikes, without a walk or a strikeout.
“It wasn’t good, just because the results were nothing what he wanted,” Hinch said. “I think he was a little tentative going into the game. I watched the video a little bit. I think anytime you come back for that first time after an injury, that’s somewhat expected, and then you get into competition, no matter what level it is, and it’s a different story.”
Mize will throw a bullpen Saturday or Sunday, which will determine his next rehab start.
“His execution wasn’t great,” Hinch said. “I think he’s feeling fine. I think he’s just going through one of the first times in his career being injured and getting back into the competition.”
Matt Manning in Toledo
Right-hander Matt Manning completed his second rehab start Friday for the Mud Hens. He allowed one run on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 3⅔ innings, throwing 34 of 57 pitches for strikes.
The 24-year-old could require at least one more rehab outing. In his first start for Toledo, Manning fired three scoreless innings on 37 pitches. He had four strikeouts without a walk.
The Tigers placed Manning on the 10-day injured list April 20 with right shoulder inflammation.
Contact Evan Petzold at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.