The Detroit Tigers revealed several roster moves before Saturday’s doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles.
Infielder Andy Ibañez, the Opening Day third baseman for the Texas Rangers last season, received a promotion from Triple-A Toledo, but to activate him, the Tigers needed to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
That’s the bigger news: Right-hander Matt Manning, who fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, has been transferred to the 60-day injured list, meaning he won’t be eligible to pitch for the Tigers until the second week in June.
“I have no idea when that stuff happens how long it’s going to take,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “You get viewed by a couple doctors, and however long it takes the bone to heal, and it ends up leading you to an initial view of an injury, and then you just wait and see. This fits the timeline that some doctors have suggested.”
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The 25-year-old, who was walking around the clubhouse Saturday without a medical boot, thought he could make his next start after getting hit in the right foot by a comebacker April 11 against the Toronto Blue Jays. The comebacker occurred on the final pitch of his six-inning start.
The Tigers placed him on the injured list April 12.
After that, Manning talked about a six-week absence.
Now, the former No. 9 overall pick will be sidelined for at least two months from the date of the injury. He has joined fellow pitching prospects Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal on the 60-day injured list.
“He’s mobile enough to still stay active,” said Hinch, who watched Manning play catch on the field before Saturday’s doubleheader. “But it fit the timeline that we’re expecting him to be back after building him back up to start.”
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Manning has started 14 games, and accrued 74⅔ innings, over the past two seasons while dealing with numerous injuries, posting a 3.62 ERA with 22 walks and 55 strikeouts. He suffered shoulder inflammation, biceps tendinitis and a forearm strain last season.
In his career, Manning has pitched 160 innings in parts of three MLB seasons.
“It’s just reality,” Hinch said. “I don’t know. I’m sure he’s frustrated that partial season has been lost on a really freak play. He gets hit in the foot, and he winds up missing a couple of months. I’m sure it’s aggravating to him, but there’s not a lot you can control is that.”
Slugger hits injured list
Opening a spot for Ibañez on the 40-man roster was the first step in activating him. The second step was opening a spot on the 26-man roster, which happened when the Tigers placed outfielder Kerry Carpenter on the 10-day injured list.
Carpenter, 25, is sidelined with a right shoulder sprain.
It’s a mild AC joint sprain.
“We’ll see where he is, but knowing he wasn’t going to be available for a number of days,” Hinch said, “whether it’s short term or longer than 10 days, we don’t know, but we’ll get him treated up and hopefully back as soon as possible.”
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The injury happened in the sixth inning of Thursday’s 7-4 loss when Carpenter crashed into the right-field wall while robbing a home run from Ryan Mountcastle. After throwing the ball, he immediately reached for his shoulder.
Before Opening Day, the Tigers reconstructed the outfield walls with material and padding to enhance player safety.
“That collision with the wall banged up the shoulder a little bit,” Hinch said.
Carpenter, a left-handed hitting slugger, is hitting .217 with four home runs, five walks and 22 strikeouts in 20 games. He also hit .252 with six homers, six walks and 32 strikeouts in 31 games last season.
He has played 51 games in his MLB career.
“We love him in the middle of our order, especially against right-handed pitching,” Hinch said. “He can do a lot of things. But it is what it is. When you have a collision with the wall, the wall wins.”
So, about the outfield?
The Tigers currently have three true outfielders on the 26-man roster: Riley Greene, Matt Vierling and Akil Baddoo.
They also have three infielders — and one catcher — with some experience in the outfield: Ibañez, Zach McKinstry, Tyler Nevin and Eric Haase. (Javier Báez, Jonathan Schoop and Spencer Torkelson won’t play in the outfield, and while Nick Maton can play in the outfield, he hasn’t done so this season.)
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“All of the above,” Hinch said. “We’re going to mix and match the best we can, depending on who we’re facing. All righties (right-handed pitchers) this series, but we’re going to get a lefty against New York (Mets) and a couple lefties in St. Louis, so we’ll mix and match it.”
A notable setback
Right-hander Beau Brieske (right ulnar nerve entrapment) experienced a setback in his rehabilitation. He reported soreness after throwing live batting practice in Lakeland and will undergo further evaluation.
The 25-year-old has been injured since the beginning of the regular season.
Brieske posted a 4.19 ERA with 25 walks and 54 strikeouts across 81⅔ innings in 15 starts last season. He also had a 9.28 ERA with five walks, nine strikeouts and five homers allowed in 10⅔ innings.
The Tigers called up infielder Zack Short to serve as the 27th player for Saturday’s doubleheader. The decision to promote Short, rather than someone else, was tied to an injured player in Triple-A Toledo.
Infielder Ryan Kreidler has been dealing with knee soreness.
The timeline for his return to games with the Mud Hens is unknown.
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Kreidler, 25, earned a spot on the Tigers’ Opening Day roster but hit .111 with zero walks and seven strikeouts across 18 plate appearances in 11 games. The Tigers demoted him, and since then, he is hitting .300 with three homers, four walks and 11 strikeouts in eight games at the Triple-A level.
The Tigers signed 23-year-old infielder Luis Santana to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Double-A Erie. He played eight games for Double-A Corpus Christi with the Astros this season.
The Astros released him Wednesday, and three days later, the Tigers officially picked him up. Santana hit .297 with 11 home runs, 38 walks and 69 strikeouts in 97 games for High-A Asheville last season.
He had a .386 on-base percentage in 2022.
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