Alek Manoah roughed up in his fourth rehab appearance

Photo credit:James P. McCoy
Ryley Delaney
2 days ago
Alek Manoah’s last outing was pretty good. The same cannot be said about his outing on Wednesday evening.
The 26-year-old made his fourth rehab start of the season and his third for the Buffalo Bisons. He finished with a line of 3 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 5 K with two home runs given up. This line is significantly worse than the one he had last Friday, when he finished 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K with a home run given up.
Diving deeper into the stats with Stat Cast, the four-seam fastball averaged 92 mph, maxing out at 93.6 mph. The two-seamer had an average velocity of 91.8 mph and maxed out at 93.7 mph. There was some good news in this game, as he generated 10 whiffs in the three innings he pitched in.
The four-seamer had three whiffs on nine total pitches for a 33 whiff%, while the changeup generated three swings and misses on three total swings for a 100 whiff%. However, the slider generated just two whiffs on 13 total swings, while the two-seamer had the same number of whiffs on 11 total swings.
Admittedly, it’s starting to get really worrisome. You knew it was going to take some time to get back to his 2022-form where he finished third in American League Cy Young voting, if he ever even did. But at this point, the question that should be asked is whether or not he’ll even become an effective pitcher in the big leagues again.
It’s been a sad decline for a pitcher who was on track to become the next great ace that the Blue Jays have developed since Roy Halladay. Interestingly, the late great pitcher himself had struggles early in his career as well, eventually being optioned to Single-A Dunedin to get things right.
It’s likely that the Jays hope not to use one of his two option years remaining, but the rehab assignment will end on May 7, 30 days after the start of the rehab assignment. If he can’t put together another good start, and Yariel Rodríguez continues to be lights out for the Jays, Toronto may have no chance but to option Manoah.
Hopefully, this is just a speed bump in what will be a successful big league career. The promise is still there for Manoah, but whatever is going on needs to be sorted out. 

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

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