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Alek Manoah makes case for Blue Jays starting rotation with strong Triple-A start

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Photo credit:James P. McCoy
Cam Lewis
1 month ago
When Yariel Rodriguez landed on the Injured List because of a back injury, a spot opened up in the Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation — and Alek Manoah made his best case to claim it.
Pitching for the Buffalo Bisons, the big righty allowed just one earned run over six innings of work against the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Manoah scattered two hits and two walks and struck out 12 batters. The one run he allowed came on a solo home run in the sixth inning by Nick Gonzales.
Manoah started the season on the Injured List because of a shoulder injury that popped up during spring training. He was roughed up in his first rehab start with the Low-A Dunedin Blue Jays and has had a mixed bag of results pitching for the Bisons. Through four appearances in Triple-A, Manoah owns a 6.50 ERA with 26 strikeouts and seven walks.
With the clock on Manoah’s rehab assignment nearing its end, the Blue Jays will have to decide whether to activate him from the Injured List and add him to the team’s active roster or option him to the minors. While on the IL and pitching in the minors on a rehab assignment, Manoah is being paid his big-league salary, but that obviously won’t be the case if the team decides he needs more time in Triple-A.
Considering the injury situation with the team’s pitching staff, the Blue Jays might have had their minds made up for them already. Yariel Rodriguez generated a lot of buzz with his first few Major League starts but is now on the shelf along with Bowden Francis, who earned the fifth spot in Toronto’s rotation due to his strong spring and Manoah’s injury. Other than Manoah, the only option for a starter from Buffalo on the 40-man roster is journeyman Paolo Espino.
Rodriguez started against the Royals on Monday, so his spot in the rotation will come up next on Sunday when the Blue Jays are in Washington to face the Nationals. It seems likely Manoah will be the one taking the mound for Toronto that day.

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