Tigers’ Matt Manning hopes to face live hitting soon: ‘I like where I’m at’

Detroit News

Detroit — Matt Manning, on the injured list with a broken bone in his foot, will throw his second, full bullpen session on Tuesday and he hopes that leads to a live session against hitters next week.

“Yeah, I’m going to go on the road, so maybe I’ll throw one more bullpen and then a live,” he said. “Then we will see where I’m at after that.”

Manning has been able to continue training his upper body and doing light arm work since the injury. He hopes once his foot is cleared, the ramp-up to competition will be quick.

“I like where I’m at,” he said. “Hopefully it won’t take too long. The build-up is the most annoying part because you feel like you’re wasting time. But it’s not too bad. Everything is going well.”

Vierling scratched

Matt Vierling was in the original starting lineup Monday, but he was scratched after he reported stiffness in his back.

“We’re not going to take any chances,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “We will get him fired up and warmed up once to see if he’s available to pinch-hit. But we’ll be pretty cautious with that. Especially when you factor in how many day games we’ve got.”

Monday was the Tigers’ third straight day start. They have another Wednesday.

Zack Short, who celebrated his 28th birthday Monday, was inserted into the lineup at third base. Zach McKinstry, originally set to start at third, was moved to Vierling’s spot in right field.

Manager’s decision

Eric Haase made his third straight start behind the plate. That’s the first time this season one catcher has made three straight starts.

“Manager’s decision,” was all Hinch would offer by way of explanation.

Haase, though, has been on a good run behind the plate. The starting pitchers in Haase’s last four starts — Eduardo Rodriguez, Michael Lorenzen, Alex Faedo and Matthew Boyd — allowed a total of four earned runs.

Jake Rogers, the other Tigers’ catcher, is healthy and he has no issue with Hinch riding a hot hand.

“He’s catching better,” Rogers said of Haase. “I told AJ, ‘When you want me to play, I’ll play. Whatever you think is best. You’re the manager.’”

Around the horn

The Tigers drew 30 walks in the four-game series against the White Sox, and they drew four more Monday. That’s nine straight games where they’ve drawn at least four walks, tying longest streak since April of 2008. Their 9.3% walk rate on the season ranks third in the American League and eighth in baseball.

… McKinstry got on base two more times Monday, single and walk. He’s now reached base 23 times in nine games.

Rangers at Tigers

First pitch: 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, Comerica Park, Detroit

TV/radio: Bally Sports Detroit, 97.1 FM

Scouting report

LHP Martin Perez (6-1, 3.83), Rangers: He’s coming off back-to-back quality starts, allowing two runs in seven innings to the Rockies and Pirates and he will test the Tigers’ newfound zone control. With his sinker, cutter, changeup mix, he lives and dies on the fringes of the strike zone. He gets a 31% chase rate, which is his life blood. When he has to come into the zone, he’s hittable — as his .296 opponent average and .451 slug attests.

RHP Alex Faedo (1-2, 4.15), Tigers: He had the White Sox in the proverbial rocking chair for six innings in his last start, stuck between his precisely-located four-seam fastball and his slider. He posted a career-high 10 strikeouts, getting 11 misses on 17 swings at his slider and 10 called strikes with his heater. Impressive stuff.


Twitter: @cmccosky

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