Alek Manoah pulled from first Spring Training start after hitting three batters and allowing four earned runs

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
So, that’s not what you want to see from your 2022 ace.
If you can recall, Alek Manoah had a tough season in 2023, posting a 5.87 ERA and a 6.01 FIP in 87.1 innings pitched. This included a career-low 19 K% and a career-worst 14.2 BB%, leading to several demotions to the minor leagues.
In a recent article by Rob Longley from the Toronto Sun, Manoah said he should have been better in 2023 and has worked mentally and physically to be better in 2024. So, how did his first start in Spring Training go? Not great.
Manoah only pitched one inning and two-thirds, allowing three hits, four earned runs, and walking a batter with no strikeouts. Moreover, Manoah was in prime Bob Gibson form and hit three batters in his 38 pitches thrown.
Of course, there were some encouraging signs. For example, he touched 95 mph or higher twice, and most of his fastballs sat from 93 mph to 95 mph. According to Gate 14’s Avery Chenier, Manoah only hit 95 mph eight times last season, so the fact he’s doing it so early in the season is a very encouraging sign.
According to Keegan Matheson of MLB.com, Manoah said Tuesday’s start was “inexpensive experience” and that he was happy with his velocity despite the results.
Lately, I’ve compared Manoah’s 2023 to José Berríos’ 2022, as they both had high expectations and struggled. Berríos had a great 2023 season, but he gave up seven earned runs in 14.2 Spring Training innings. On top of that, he struggled for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic giving up five earned runs, and had two rough starts to start the 2023 season. In the end, he finished the year with a 3.65 ERA and a 3.99 FIP in 189.2 innings pitched, helping the Jays reach the postseason for the second consecutive season.
So, while Manoah’s start on Tuesday all made us put our heads into our palms, it’s certainly not a determining factor on whether or not his 2024 season will be good.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.


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