Alek Manoah optioned to the Florida Complex League, as the Blue Jays make a slew of roster moves

Photo credit:Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
1 year ago
Well, who saw that coming?
On Tuesday afternoon, the Blue Jays made a whole bunch of moves, and I mean a massive amount.
The most notable is Alek Manoah, but we’ll dive into each move separately.

Alek Manoah optioned to the Florida Complex League:

It has to be said that Manoah’s season has been abysmal. The 25-year-old has a 6.36 ERA and a 6.52 FIP after 58 innings pitched. Not only has his K% dropped from 22.9% to 17%, but his BB% increased from 6.5% to 14.9%.
This season followed one where he finished third in voting for Cy Young, posting a 2.24 ERA and a 3.35 FIP in 196.2 innings pitched.
It’s hard to say what happened, it could be a confidence issue, could be mechanical, it could be a combination of other issues. What I do know is that the Jays have a great complex in Florida and he’ll be away from the bright lights.
I don’t think it’ll be too long before we see Manoah again, and hey, if it worked for the greatest pitcher in franchise history, it could work for another pitcher tracking to be one of the greats for the Jays.

Santiago Espinal activated from the 10-day Injured List:

Nothing big about this move. The 28-year-old hasn’t had a great start to his season, as he’s slashing .205/.266/.274 with a homer in 80 plate appearances.
The utility infielder was 3 for 3 prior to being pulled out of that May 20th game due to a hamstring injury, so who knows, he could have turned it around.
After being involved in the all-star game in 2022, Espinal’s second base job has all but been taken over by Whit Merrifield.
Either way, he’s the best defensive second baseman they have, so it’s nice to have that depth back.

Bowden Francis added to the 40-man roster and the 26-man roster:

If you’ve been reading my content for a while now, I’m a pretty big fan of what Francis offers. He has spent much of the season on the Injured List, but has posted a 3.45 ERA and a 4.86 FIP in 15.2 innings pitched, or four starts, with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. What’s more impressive is his 35.4 K% and a 6.2 BB%, for a fantastic 29.2 K-BB%.
He has a mid-90s fastball that has touched 97 mph, along with one of the best curveballs in the organization, and a sharp slider that he can also use to strike batters out. He has the occasional changeup with arm-side fade.
It’s entirely possible that Francis’ role is a bulk reliever that can give you 4 or 5 innings. He’s not a true starter, but he’s definitely earned this opportunity.

Jay Jackson optioned to Triple-A Buffalo:

This season, the 35-year-old righty has a 1.59 ERA and a 4.52 FIP with the Jays. However, it can’t be said how important he was during Alek Manoah’s last start.
After Manoah couldn’t get through more than one out, Jackson came into the game and had a line of 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, and helped avoid a total collapse of the bullpen.
He hurled 39 pitches on Monday, so he would have been out of commission for a few days anyway. However, I don’t think this will be the last we’ll see of Jackson this season.

Ernie Clement optioned to Triple-A Buffalo:

This isn’t too surprising, as the utility infielder plays the same positions as Santiago Espinal.
The 27-year-old didn’t get much of a chance with the Jays, only getting six plate appearances and adding two singles.
He was tearing up Triple-A prior to the call-up though, slashing .328/.408/.512 with five homers (one less than his total in the minors since 2017) in just 145 plate appearances.
If another infielder goes down with an injury, and the Jays want a player with major league experience, Ernie Clement will be their guy.

Chris Bassitt reinstated from the “I’m a daddy” list:

The man’s wife was in labour, and yet he pitched an absolute gem of a game with a line of 7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Thankfully, he was there to witness the birth of his second child who came out healthy.
Chris Bassitt is worth every cent of his 3-year, $63 million deal. What a legend.

Zach Thompson designated for assignment:

I had high hopes for Thompson when the Jays traded Chavez Young for the right-handed pitcher.
Sadly, it hasn’t quite panned out for the 29-year-old in the Blue Jays organization. With the Triple-A Bisons, he has a 6.89 ERA and a 6.71 FIP.
He was supposed to be the sixth starter, but it just hasn’t gone that way. The good news is that he may slip through waivers, giving the Jays more time to figure out what has gone wrong with him this season.

What to make of these moves:

Who knows when we’ll see Manoah again. It could be two weeks, or two months. With that being said, Francis deserves the opportunity he has been giving, while Zach Thompson hopefully slips through waivers.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.


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