Toronto Blue Jays Make Critical Decision on Embattled Starting Pitcher

After showing improvement in his latest rehab start, Toronto Blue Jays' pitcher Alek Manoah will make another rehab start at Triple-A Buffalo this week. He's trying to work his way back after a disastrous 2023 season and an injury-filled spring training.
Mar 28, 2024; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah (6) looks on
Mar 28, 2024; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah (6) looks on / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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As he attempts to work his way back into the Toronto Blue Jays' rotation, pitcher Alek Manoah will make another rehab start this week at Triple-A Buffalo.

Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet on social media:

Alek Manoah slated to start for triple-A Buffalo Wednesday or Thursday per manager John Schneider, who said he liked Manoah’s FB command & slider movement when he watched his latest rehab start on video

Manoah is attempting to come back from a disastrous 2023 season that saw him go from Cy Young finalist to one of the worst starters in the American League - and a shoulder injury suffered in spring training this year.

Manoah has shown improvement during his rehab outings, moving from a terrible start in A-Ball where he allowed six earned runs in 1.2 innings to a start at Triple-A on Friday when he allowed just two runs over 5.2 innings and struck out five.

If he's able to re-enter the rotation for Toronto, it's unclear who he'd bump out. Chris Bassitt, Kevin Gausman and Jose Berrios are all signed to long-term contracts, while Yusei Kikuchi has been excellent in 2024. Yariel Rodriguez is currently in the No. 5 spot, but he signed a five-year deal this offseason based upon his potential. Perhaps the team could move to a six-man rotation or utilize Rodriguez or Manoah in the bullpen. It remains to be seen and we should know more after his start this week.

A former All-Star, Manoah is 28-18 lifetime with a 3.32 ERA.

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Brady Farkas

BRADY FARKAS

Brady Farkas is a baseball writer for Fastball on Sports Illustrated/FanNation and the host of 'The Payoff Pitch' podcast which can be found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Videos on baseball also posted to YouTube. Brady has spent nearly a decade in sports talk radio and is a graduate of Oswego State University. You can follow him on Twitter @WDEVRadioBrady.