GDB 35.0: Blue Jays’ Alek Manoah returns to the MLB mound

Photo credit:Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
It’s an MLB bump day for Alek Manoah in a pivotal moment in his career.
After bursting on the scene in 2021 looking like a bonafide star in the making, he followed it up with an impeccable 2022 season in which he was named to the All-Star Game, while finishing third in AL Cy Young voting.
Since then, it hasn’t been a fall from grace: it’s been a full-on landslide. Manoah took the opening day start in 2023 against the St. Louis Cardinals, looking nothing like the year prior, and his year only got worse. By June, he was sent to Dunedin to find his game, briefly returning only for things not to go his way on the mound.
The season ended with him not playing any baseball, and the hope was that this year would be different. A good offseason of work had him coming into Spring Training in great shape, but he suffered a shoulder ailment after his first start this Spring and had to go the recovery route. Now, months later with a so-so rehab in Triple-A Buffalo, Manoah is back with the big club.
In his corner, however, is a strong final start in Triple-A in which he threw six innings, striking out 12, waking only two and allowing just one earned run against. He seemed to be locating his slider and throwing with command, something we haven’t seen in a long, long time.
The jury is more than out on what will happen and whether Manoah can show he’s worth a big league roster spot.

First pitch:
1:35 p.m. EST. TV & Radio: Sportsnet.
18º C, 10 km/h winds from right field in.
“Late start is possible, as we’ll still be dealing with some lingering drizzle/mist into first pitch. They can play on time and get a little wet, or late start for a few hours and be fully dry. Either way an in-game delay is unlikely.”- Kevin Roth, Rotogrinders

Starting pitchers:

Alek ManoahTOR
MacKenzie GoreWSN62331.03.193.51782.701.3511.032.61


– Data via Baseball-Reference


G Springer (R) RF
V Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
J Turner (R) DH
B Bichette (R) SS
D Schneider (R) LF
D Varsho (L) CF
A Kirk (R) C
I Kiner-Falefa (R) 2B
E Clement (R) 3B

J Young (R) CF
C Abrams (L) SS
L García Jr. (L) 2B
N Senzel (R) DH
J Winker (L) LF
J Meneses (R) 1B
K Ruiz (S) C
E Rosario (L) RF
T Lipscomb (R) 3B

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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