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Alek Manoah has been terrible in 2023, but his outing on Monday was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The 2022 All-Star was sent down by the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday afternoon.
Manoah, 25, sported a 3.22 ERA in 20 starts as a rookie in 2021, but really found his groove in year two. He won 16 of his 31 starts and struck out 180 batters with an ERA of just 2.24.
Manoah’s stuff was nasty.
Considering his age, there was a lot of hope for Manoah to be the guy in Toronto this year. If the Blue Jays were to make a run at the Commissioner’s Trophy, they were going to have to rely heavily on their young ace.
His first 13 games of 2023 were a complete disaster. Manoah averaged less than five innings per outing, was handed seven losses with only one win, saw his ERA balloon to 6.36, and was well on pace to exceed his walk total from each of the last two years, if not both years combined.
Manoah’s stuff is the opposite of nasty.
As a result, Toronto optioned him to the Florida Complex League, the rookie-league level. The hope is that he will spend some time in the Sunshine State and get things together before returning to form during the back-half of the regular season just in time for the playoff push.
Alek Manoah is out of the MLB, for now.
Manoah’s meteoric rise fell out of the sky this season, but Monday was especially terrible. He did not even make it out of the first inning against the Astros.
Here is how his entire start went, in order:
- Bunt single
- Grand Slam
That was it. Manoah got the hook after allowing four runs with two left on in just nine batters.
To make matters worse, the bunt single was about as demoralizing as it gets. It would have been a hilarious moment if Manoah wasn’t struggling, but it ended up being a dejecting lowlight.
Jeremy Peña was the second batter of the game for Houston. He stepped into the box and dropped a 0-1 pitch down the third base line. It was a textbook bunt.
Manoah, who came barreling off of the mound at first, decided not to play the ball in hopes that it would roll foul. There was a play to be made if everything had gone perfectly, but he simply was not going to try.
Instead, the 6-foot-6, 260-pounder (generous?) literally got down on his hands and knees and tried to blow the baseball into foul territory.
Desperation doesn’t get much lower than that.
Manoah is only 25. He has plenty of time to get things figured out. The pitch clock has not been his friend and the struggle has been real. This doesn’t mean he’s done yet — by any stretch of the imagination — but trying to blow a bunt foul and then getting demoted is tough.