Minutes before first pitch, pitching coach Chris Fetter emerged from the dugout and checked in with manager A.J. Hinch, exchanging the lineup card at home plate. Off in the distance, righty reliever Will Vest was warming up in the bullpen.
“I wanted to go,” Manning said after Wednesday’s 2-1 win. “Everyone pitches through some stuff. I thought I could go. Once I told them I was feeling a little more tired than usual, they decided not to let me go out there.”
Manning, 24, missed Wednesday’s start with arm fatigue sustained in warmups. He said he feels the fatigue in his forearm. The severity of his injury is unclear, but the Tigers called the decision to scratch him a “precautionary move.”
“The tests came back exactly as we expected: a little bit of fatigue, a little bit of tendinitis,” Hinch said. “He’s going to get further evaluated. The chance of him throwing a pitch again this year is not good, just because we’re not going to mess with this. … The good news is we feel like he’s fine.”
Five pitches into Vest’s start, the right-hander allowed a leadoff home run to Kansas City Royals catcher MJ Melendez. He threw 19 pitches in the first inning and was replaced by left-hander Daniel Norris for the second inning.
Manning has made 10 starts since Aug. 2, when he returned from the injured list.
He had been on the injured list since mid-April because of right shoulder inflammation and needed two throwing programs and rehab assignments before regaining full health. Fellow young pitchers Casey Mize (Tommy John surgery) and Tarik Skubal (flexor tendon surgery) are out for the season with elbow injuries.
“My shoulder has been feeling really good for a couple weeks,” Manning said. “And then some normal fatigue starts setting in. It was stuff I’ve worked through before, but getting out there today, it just didn’t feel quite right.”
In 2022, Manning has a 3.43 ERA with 19 walks and 48 strikeouts over 63 innings in 12 starts. The Tigers drafted him with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2016 draft. He reached the big leagues for his debut in June 2021 and received 18 starts last season.
He has 30 starts and a 4.79 ERA in his MLB career.
“Definitely disappointing,” Manning said. “I really wanted to finish the year strong with two more starts, but given the big picture of things, and what we’re working for in 2023, I think it was probably smarter to push the breaks a little bit.”