In 2019, the Toronto Blue Jays selected West Virginia right hander Alek Manoah with the 11th overall selection after Manoah had an amazing junior year with the Mountaineers. Manoah would throw 108.1 innings and finish with a 9-4 record, 144 strikeouts and a 2.08 ERA – all of which earned him an unanimous Big 12 Pitcher of the Year award.
Manoah’s 2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic but that didn’t stop the righthander from developing his pitches and continuing to better himself during his newfound freetime. When the 2021 season started, Manoah continued to dazzle. In three appearances this spring spanning over 7 innings, Manoah struck out 15, allowed just hit and no walks. The Jays sent Manoah down to Triple-A but Manoah is seemingly forcing the Blue Jays hand.
The Blue Jays are down a starter with Anthony Kay being optioned to the minors last week. Manoah is scheduled to start tomorrow on Tuesday for the minor league team but if the Blue Jays want to start his major league service clock, he would be in line to start Wednesday for the Blue Jays if they want to bring him up.
Starting Manoah’s service clock now could put him in line for “Super Two” status, which can be tricky for MLB teams. If the Jays choose not to start his clock this week, it won’t be much longer as Manoah continues to force the clubs hand by pitching brilliantly. In three minor league starts, Manoah is 3-0, with 0.50 ERA, 27 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched and a WHIP (Walks + hits / IP) of 0.556.