Marcus Stroman ‘looking forward’ to Alek Manoah proving his doubters wrong
Photo credit:Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
By Thomas Hall2 months ago
Things have been a complete disaster for Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah in 2023. But not everyone is ready to give up on the struggling hurler, including former Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman.
The Chicago Cubs righty, who’s defended Manoah multiple times in the past, came to his defence once again via social media on Wednesday, saying he’s waiting patiently for Manoah to quiet his critics upon his triumphant return to the majors – a date that remains undetermined.
Much of Toronto’s fan base, of course, has been reacting negatively to Manoah’s poor Florida Complex League outing on Tuesday, and understandably so, as he surrendered 11 runs on 10 hits and two walks – including a pair of home runs – over just 2.2 innings against the New York Yankees’ FCL team.
The Blue Jays tried to downplay the 25-year-old’s horrific pitching line prior to Tuesday’s series opener versus the San Francisco Giants, with manager John Schneider feeling encouraged by the 2022 All-Star’s process rather than focusing on his results. He also believes everything else should probably be taken “with a grain of salt.”
Stroman likely falls under that category, as well, especially considering the response he wrote following Manoah’s demotion to the FCL Blue Jays on June 6.
The respect between Stroman and Manoah goes beyond this season, as the ex-Blue Jay defended him on Twitter in February after an MLB Network panel didn’t include him among the sport’s top-10 starting pitchers, with former major leaguer Anthony Recker criticizing the 6-foot-6 hurler’s gym etiquette and physical appearance.
It’s unclear when Manoah’s next start will come, but you can bet he’ll be looking to compete at a higher level and generate improved results in his second FCL appearance. But, as Schneider stated on Tuesday, the Blue Jays are far more focused on his underlying metrics, at least for now.
The 11th overall selection from 2019 faltered to a 6.36 ERA, 6.79 xERA and a 6.50 FIP over 58.0 innings in 13 starts with the Blue Jays before being sent down, leading all qualified major-league starters (50 innings minimum) in walk rate (14.9 per cent).
Manoah finished third in AL Cy Young voting last season, behind Dylan Cease and the eventual winner Justin Verlander, who won the award for a third time.
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