Blue Jays’ Alek Manoah allows two runs over 5.2 innings in latest triple-A start

John Schneider joins Blair and Barker to discuss what his expectations are for Alek Manoah in his next couple Triple-A starts and he what he thinks the next step will be for the former Cy Young contender.

After getting hit hard in the first inning of Friday’s rehab start, Toronto Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah responded to throw 4.2 straight scoreless frames.

Manoah allowed three loud hits and two runs in the first inning while pitching for the triple-A Buffalo Bisons, including a 379-foot homer to Columbus Clippers left fielder Jonathan Rodriguez.

But the 26-year-old right-hander responded to finish the game after throwing 92 pitches — 61 for strikes — over 5.2 innings. His final line had him allowing six hits, two runs and no walks while striking out five.

After the tough first inning, Manoah only ended up allowing five hard-hit balls in the game.

He threw 32 sliders, 30 fastballs, 22 sinkers and eight changeups in the game, averaging 92.8 m.p.h. and topping out at 95.8 with his heater while getting four whiffs with his slider.

Manoah was replaced in the sixth inning with Buffalo leading 3-2 by lefty Brendon Little, who stranded the tying run at second base.

The Clippers went on to score six runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to take a 9-3 win.

After struggling through his first two rehab starts of 2024, Friday’s performance offered a step forward for the six-foot-six hurler. Manoah is rehabbing from shoulder soreness he initially felt in spring training. He is working to earn a spot back in the major leagues after a disappointing 2023 season that saw him demoted to the minors twice and post a 5.87 ERA over 87.1 innings with Toronto.

He was a Cy Young finalist and AL All-Star in 2022.

He is currently on the 15-day injured list after suffering some shoulder soreness during spring training. He has a 30-day rehab window before the Blue Jays need to decide whether to add him to the 26-man roster or assign him to the minor leagues.

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