Alek Manoah optioned to Florida Complex League
“Pressure’s something you put in your tires.” We all remember Alek Manoah giving us this slick one-liner prior to his first-ever postseason start. It sounded badass at the time with Manoah coming off a Cy Young-caliber season. But little did Manoah know that this quote would come back to haunt him.
Ever since that quote, it’s been all downhill for the 25-year-old. He struggled in the subsequent series against the Mariners and has carried those struggles into this season. Now, the Blue Jays have optioned him all the way down to the Florida Complex League.
The Blue Jays have optioned Alek Manoah to the Florida Complex League in an attempt to jumpstart the team’s ace after a slow start to the season.@bnicholsonsmith has the latest on the move. https://t.co/C8uMxR999E— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 6, 2023
For those unaware of the Florida Complex League, it’s basically rookie ball, which is usually the first stop a prospect makes on their path to the majors. It’s the biggest demotion a player can get and signifies how concerned the Blue Jays are with Manoah.
In Toronto’s defense, I can’t really say I blame them. When you watch Manoah pitch this year he looks like a totally different guy. I mean, you would have never guessed this guy was a Cy Young candidate last year based on his performance this year.
His ERA has ballooned to a career-high 6.36. He’s already almost walked as many batters as he did all of last year with 42. Overall, it’s just clear that something isn’t right with Manoah. His average velocity is also down from years past leading me to believe it could be health-related.
A lot of people cite the pitch clock as the main issue for Manoah right now. While the pitch clock has been an adjustment for all pitchers, it cannot be the main reason why he’s been this bad. If his ERA jumped a couple of points then sure, you could say it’s because of the pitch clock.
But what we’ve seen so far this year indicates much bigger issues than the pitch clock. It sounds like he needs a full rework on the fundamentals and to find himself as a pitcher.
This move is sure to have some effects on Manoah himself. It has to be a huge ego blow to get sent down to play against 18- and 19-year-olds. Just last year he was competing for a Cy Young — crazy how quickly things can change in the MLB.
At this point, it’s all on Alek Manoah to keep his head down and make the necessary changes. We’ve all seen he can be an amazing pitcher, but I think right now he’s just in his own head.
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