Alek Manoah to start Sunday versus Red Sox as Blue Jays reveal upcoming pitching plans

Photo credit:Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Hall
1 month ago
Alek Manoah will receive a shot at redemption when he takes the mound Sunday at the Boston Red Sox’ spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Toronto Blue Jays hurler will be looking to bounce back from Tuesday’s disastrous spring debut against the Detroit Tigers, where he beaned three batters and walked one while surrendering four runs on three hits across an inning and two-thirds.
Manager John Schneider also revealed right-hander Chad Dallas – the organization’s No. 13 top prospect per MLB Pipeline – will oppose Gerrit Cole when the club visits the New York Yankees on Friday. That game will begin in the evening, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. ET.
Chris Bassitt will take the ball Saturday when the Atlanta Braves travel to Dunedin, with Bowden Francis expected to appear in relief. While Manoah faces the Red Sox on Sunday, Yusei Kikuchi will stick around at the organization’s player development complex to throw a simulated game versus a few Blue Jays regulars, aiming to throw 45-50 pitches.
Regarding Manoah’s goals, controlling the strike zone more effectively will undoubtedly be atop the list during his second start of the spring. It’ll also be interesting to see if the 2022 AL Cy Young finalist can maintain his encouraging fastball velocity, which clocked his four-seamer as high as 95.5 m.p.h. against Detroit.
For context, the 26-year-old righty only exceeded 95 m.p.h. 17 times over 19 starts last season. He surpassed that figure 305 times in 2022 and 104 times as a rookie in ’21.
Manoah entered camp in competition for Toronto’s No. 5 starter’s spot alongside Francis, Mitch White (out of options), Yariel Rodríguez and top prospect Ricky Tiedemann. But of that group, the 2022 All-Star currently holds the edge for that final rotation job.
To keep hold of it, however, the Blue Jays’ 2023 Opening Day starter must display improvements from the struggling pitcher who endured two minor-league demotions and posted a 5.87 ERA last season – a feat he has yet to accomplish.


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