Detroit — The Tigers started the day Saturday with just three starting pitchers on the active roster and a couple of TBA’s among the upcoming probable pitching matchups.
Manager AJ Hinch offered some clarity.
Rony Garcia, who has been on the injured list since July 3, is expected to be activated, perhaps as soon as Saturday night, and will make the start against the Twins on Sunday. He will be moving into the slot vacated by right-hander Beau Brieske, who went on the injured list with forearm soreness.
Drew Hutchison, who was initially scheduled to start on Sunday, will now start Monday against the San Diego Padres.
The fifth starter is presently listed as TBA for the Tuesday start. It’s a possible, though not official, that rookie Garrett Hill, who started the second game of the doubleheader in Oakland Thursday as the 27th man, will be called up to make that start.
Tarik Skubal and Michael Pineda would then be in line to start Wednesday against the Padres and Thursday at Toronto.
But the rotation is likely to remain in flux for at least the next few weeks.
For one, right-hander Matt Manning is nearing his return. Out since April 17 with right shoulder inflammation, Manning threw 70 pitches and covered 4 1/3 innings in a rehab start at Toledo on Friday night.
“He asked for a fourth up, so that’s a good sign,” Hinch said. “I know he felt pretty good. It was a little rough getting into the outing (three runs allowed in the first inning) but his stuff was fine and he responded to it pretty well.”
Manning is scheduled to start again for the Mud Hens on Wednesday. It’s possible that will be his last rehab start. That would put him in line to join the Tigers’ rotation in Minnesota Aug. 1 or Aug. 2.
Brieske isn’t expected to be out long, either.
“He’s still throwing and feeling no pain,” Hinch said. “If they let us put fatigue up there, that’s what it would be. Because, truthfully, that’s what he’s feeling the most. But there is no mechanism to say fatigue in the injury protocol.”
The expectation is that Brieske would miss just two turns through the rotation.
Out for the year
The news went from bad to worse for two other pitchers. Reliever Kyle Funkhouser (shoulder) and Alex Faedo (hip) will be shut down the rest of the season, Hinch said.
Both have sought outside medical opinions.
Asked if surgery was indicated for both, Hinch said, “It’s trending that way.”
Funkhouser, 28 and a key part of the Tigers’ bullpen appearing in 57 games and covering 68 1/3 innings last season, hasn’t pitched at all this year.
Faedo, 26, made 12 starts for the Tigers in his first full competitive season after Tommy John surgery.
More: Eduardo Rodriguez taking first steps toward returning to Tigers this season
Around the horn
Right-handed reliever Wily Peralta threw and did agility work before Saturday’s game. Out since July 6 with a left hamstring strain, Peralta is on track to start a rehab assignment with Toledo by the end of next week.
Twins at Tigers
First pitch: 1:40 p.m. Sunday, Comerica Park, Detroit
TV/radio: Bally Sports Detroit, 97.1
RHP Sonny Gray (4-3, 3.71), Twins: The Tigers didn’t have much fun against him at Target Field on May 24, Gray struck out 10 in seven shutout innings. The break came at a good time for him, though. In his previous two starts, against the Rangers and White Sox, he was tagged for 11 runs and 13 hits over 8 1/3 innings.
RHP Rony Garcia (3-2, 4.28), Tigers: This will be his first start since June 29. He went on the injured list on July 3 with shoulder inflammation. In his two starts before being shut down, he allowed just two runs in 10 1/3 innings, holding hitters to a .194 batting average.