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Blue Jays’ Alek Manoah scheduled to begin rehab assignment this Sunday at Single-A Dunedin

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Photo credit:Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Hall
22 days ago
Toronto Blue Jays right-handed starter Alek Manoah is expected to begin a rehab assignment this weekend, where he’s scheduled to make his first start since his disastrous Grapefruit League outing on Feb. 27.
Manoah, placed on the 15-day IL due to shoulder inflammation prior to Opening Day, will return to game action on Sunday in a start with Single-A Dunedin, manager John Schneider revealed ahead of Wednesday’s finale in Houston. He’ll face the Lakeland Flying Tigers — Detroit’s Single-A affiliate.
On Tuesday, the 26-year-old threw a three-inning simulated game — and was caught by Danny Jansen, also on the mend — at the player development complex, tossing roughly 48 pitches while facing low-level minor-league hitters. The right-hander struck out six and touched 96 m.p.h. with his fastball, displaying quality command of the strike zone.
The plan is for Manoah to stretch out to four innings and around 65 pitches in his first regular-season start of 2024. If all goes well, his build-up will likely continue at the upper levels with either Double-A New Hampshire or Triple-A Buffalo.
After allowing four runs on three hits, three hit-by-pitches, and a walk over 1.2 innings in his only spring training outing, Manoah reported shoulder soreness to Blue Jays trainers a few days later, prompting a series of tests, which didn’t reveal any structural damage.
The 11th-overall selection from 2019 didn’t throw off a mound for a couple of weeks while his shoulder recovered, but he did play catch regularly to maintain his mechanics and release point. He threw his first live batting practice session on Mar. 22 before completing a 34-pitch simulated game a few days later.
Despite being on the IL, Manoah travelled with the Blue Jays to Tropicana Field for their season-opening series against the Tampa Bay Rays. But he wasn’t just there for moral support, as he also tossed a side session in the bullpen last Sunday.
Manoah aims to deliver a bounce-back season after struggling to a 5.87 ERA and 6.01 FIP with 59 walks in 87.1 innings over 19 starts in 2023. He was demoted to the minors twice, with his second marking the end of a nightmare campaign.
Sunday’s start will begin the 6-foot-6 hurler’s 30-day rehab clock. Once it expires, the Blue Jays must activate him or extend his IL stint. With two minor-league options remaining, there’s no guarantee he’ll return to the majors once healthy and fully stretched out.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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