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Blue Jays: Alek Manoah has done everything right thus far

Aug 6, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah (6) yells from the bench against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 6, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah (6) yells from the bench against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alek Manoah has been even better than advertised so far for the Blue Jays, and he’s doing things right in more places than just on the pitching mound.

After throwing 5.0 innings against the Red Sox on Friday to pick up his fourth big league win, the big right-hander also discovered that he’d joined an elusive MLB club. In fact, it’s so exclusive that Manoah is the only member, at least since 1901.

By holding the Red Sox to just four hits, Manoah continued his streak of allowing four hits or less during his starts. In fact, he’s the first MLB pitcher to ever do that over his first 10 starts, which is a pretty staggering achievement, especially when you consider that he’s lined up against some great offences in the AL East.

The 23 year old is finding success for a lot of different reasons. Obviously his plus fastball and slider have carried him very well into the big leagues, and opposing hitters are having a tough time making good contact against him. That’s evidenced by his 2.58 ERA and 1.01 WHIP 52.1 innings, and he has also struck out 60 against 19 walks.

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I believe one of the biggest reasons for Manoah’s early success is the confidence that he carries himself with. By no means am I suggesting that he’s arrogant either, because I feel like we can all see a kid who is genuinely excited to be a part of a big league team and all of the experiences that go with that level of baseball. More specifically, you can tell that he’s confident in himself on the mound, and if he’s been intimidated by anyone on the other side he sure hasn’t shown it. Simply put, Manoah very much looks like he belongs, even after only 10 starts.

Beyond what he shows us on the field, it’s great to see the youngster taking every opportunity he can to bond with his teammates and coaches. It’s been reported that Manoah has become friends with staff ace Hyun Jin Ryu despite a language barrier. Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler spoke on the broadcast earlier this week about Manoah watching Korean cartoons with Ryu, and the Manoah has posted a few different photos of joining his elder starter out for dinner.

Why is this important? I think it’s very impressive that one of the first things Manoah did after arriving to the big leagues was seek out the team’s veteran pitcher and try to become friends with him right away. That kind of relationship could lead to countless baseball lessons for the young hurler, both about how to reach his potential on the mound, and what he needs to do off the field to perform at his best. Ryu has been one of the best in the world for several years now, and Manoah was smart enough to seek out that source right away.

Next. Why now is the perfect time to play the Red Sox. dark

Whether it’s joking around with his coaches and teammates, or quickly springing to the top of the dugout to join his peers when things got heated against the Red Sox on Friday night, it’s clear that Manoah belongs. For a guy who didn’t even get to pitch in a minor league game last year, it was hard to know what to expect from him in 2021. Now that we’re into August, it’s hard to imagine where the Blue Jays would be without him.

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