Seven months ago, Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah finished third in voting for the American League Cy Young Award. Now, he’s heading back to the minors.
Toronto announced it’s sending its former ace to the Florida Complex League on Tuesday, one day after Manoah gave up six runs while recording just one out against the Astros. Through 13 starts, Manoah is 1-7 with a 6.36 ERA.
“It’s not a knee-jerk reaction,” manager John Schnedier said of the decision, per MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson. “Like I’ve been saying all along, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to help him get better, and we feel like that’s the proper first, initial step.”
The Florida Complex League assignment will allow Manoah to attempt to rediscover his form at the site of the Blue Jays’ spring training facilities in Dunedin, Fla. It also indicates that the timeline for his return to the majors will be a multifaceted process that won’t be rushed.
“Alek is a guy who, for as highly as we’ve spoken about him for a long time, we’re confident that when he is himself, he’s still going to be a huge part of what we’re trying to do,” Schneider said. “In that environment is the right place to start.”
Manoah was a revelation last year, posting a 16-7 record with a 2.24 ERA in 31 starts. Just 25 years old, he’s looked nothing like his former self recently, allowing 12 earned runs with nine walks and only eight strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings in his previous three outings.