The Toronto Blue Jays need Alec Manoa to rebound.
Last year, Manoa had one of the best seasons of his major league career. Drafted by Toronto with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2019 draft, Manoa spent time in the minors before breaking out in the big leagues in 2021. He had a successful rookie campaign, going 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA in 20 games.
In 2022, Manoa did even better. In 31 games and 196⅔ innings pitched, he went 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA and established himself as an ace. He was nominated for the American League Cy Young Award and finished third in the voting, promising an even brighter future.
However, Manoa’s performance this season has been abysmal. In 19 games, he pitched just 87⅓ innings, going 3-9 with a 5.87 ERA. After being sent down to the minors to make adjustments, Manoa was never the same.
With the return of Ryu Hyun-jin after a successful rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery on his elbow ligament last August, there was no room for Manoa. In fact, if Manoah had continued his hot streak, Toronto was looking to go with a six-man starting rotation, but his prolonged absence derailed that plan.
With Manoah relegated to the minors, how to utilize him is a big question mark in the United States. Toronto needs Manoa to bounce back, especially for the future. MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, broached the topic of Manoah’s future on Monday, saying that it’s time to consider the question of his long-term role in Toronto.
“Despite his struggles this year, Manoa has looked a little better in his recent outings. At the very least, he gives Toronto a sixth starter option in case one of their current starters goes down with an injury,” said MLB.com, pointing to Manoah’s potential to rebound. 메이저놀이터
If Manoa continues to show signs of life for the rest of the season, Toronto will be able to start thinking about next season. When this season ends, Toronto’s starting rotation faces a major change. “Ace” Hyun-jin Ryu’s four-year, $80 million contract ends in 2020. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Ryu could leave the team as a free agent.
According to MLB.com, “The biggest variable for Toronto after 2024 is Manoa. Ryu will be a free agent, and No. 1 prospect Rickie Tiedemann is not yet a sure thing. Toronto needs to address its starting pitching issues one way or another. There’s no telling if Toronto can confidently slot Manoa into the five-man rotation next year, or if they’ll bring in another veteran,” he said, arguing that Manoa needs to rebound.
Manoa is in the midst of an adjustment period with Buffalo, Toronto’s minor league affiliate. If Manoa rebounds, Toronto will have a more solid mound not only this season, but next year as well.