Blue Jays send struggling Manoah to Florida Complex League
The Toronto Blue Jays have optioned struggling right-hander pitcher Alek Manoah to the Florida Complex League, the team announced on Tuesday.
The Florida Complex League is a rookie-level Minor League Baseball league.
In other moves, the Jays added right-handed pitcher Bowden Francis to the Major League roster, optioned right-handed pitcher Jay Jackson and infielder Ernie Clement to Triple-A Buffalo and designated right-handed pitcher Zach Thompson for assignment.
The Jays also reinstated right-handed pitcher Chris Bassitt from the paternity list and reinstated infielder Santiago Espinal from the 10-day injured list.
Francis, 27, has pitched 18.2 innings in the minors this season, recording a 2.89 ERA with 26 strikeouts.
The move comes after Manoah got just one out and allowed six earned runs Monday night against the Houston Astros, pushing his season ERA to 6.36.
Manoah allowed eight of the nine hitters he faced to reach base Monday as the Astros tagged him for seven hits and one walk. The big blow came off the bat of Corey Julks, who took Manoah deep into the left field seats for a grand slam.
Some fans at Rogers Centre booed as Manoah walked back toward the dugout after he was pulled in favour of Jay Jackson, who stranded Manoah's two remaining base runners.
Manoah finished his rookie season with a 3.22 ERA in 20 starts over 111.2 innings, striking out more than a hitter an inning. He took things to another level last season, posting a 2.24 ERA with a WHIP under 1.00 and allowing 144 hits in 196.2 innings. All that was enough to put him third in American League Cy Young voting and made him the Blue Jays’ clear-cut ace heading into 2023.
But Manoah has been unable to come anywhere close to those results in 2023, going six innings or more in just two of his 13 starts this season. In his three most recent starts, the 25-year-old has gone a total of 7.1 innings.
A native of Homestead, Fla., the Blue Jays selected Manoah with the No. 11 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft out of West Virginia. Manoah reached the big leagues fewer than two years later, turning in six shutout innings against the New York Yankees in his debut on May 27, 2021.