Part 2: Comparing Alek Manoah’s rookie season to former Blue Jays pitchers

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 02: Alek Manoah #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to the dugout during a MLB game against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on October 2, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 02: Alek Manoah #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to the dugout during a MLB game against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on October 2, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Blue Jays
NEW YORK – CIRCA 1979: Dave Stieb #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the New York Yankees during a Major League Baseball game circa 1979 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Stieb played for the Blue Jays from 1979-92 and in 1998. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Dave Stieb

Rookie Season: 18 games started; 129.1 IP; 4.31 ERA; 52 strikeouts; 1.446 WHIP

A name that most Blue Jays fans were waiting for in this two-part series, Dave Stieb is arguably one of the best pitchers in franchise history and leads a number of different pitching categories after his 15-year stint with the organization. The right-hander would earn seven all-star appearances as a member of the Blue Jays and would earn a World Series ring with the club during the 1992 season even though shoulder injuries limited him to just nine starts.

He would spend the 1993 season with the Chicago White Sox before taking a four-year hiatus from the game, returning in 1998 to appear in 19 games for the Blue Jays, three of which were starts while also earning two saves on his way to a 4.83 ERA.

Drafted by the Jays in the fifth round of the 1978 MLB Draft, Stieb would make his debut in 1979 and would exceed his rookie limits during that season. He would make 18 starts for the club and would pitch to a 4.31 ERA with 52 strikeouts and 48 walks through 129.1 innings.

Considering how well Stieb pitched for the Blue Jays, he currently finds himself on the Level of Excellence and is widely regarded as the top pitcher in franchise history, an idea that is hotly contested for those who support Roy Halladay.

Crunching the Numbers

This comparison is one of the closest between Manoah and a former Blue Jays pitcher, considering both individuals are only separated by two games started in their rookie campaigns.

Manoah holds the edge with 20 starts compared to Stieb’s 18 but the Blue Jays legend does hold his own when it comes to innings pitched despite two fewer starts (129.1 vs. 111.2) as well as in HR/9 (0.8 vs. 1.0) but Manoah does boast better numbers in terms of ERA (3.22 vs. 4.31), strikeouts (127 vs. 52), H/9 (6.2 vs. 9.7), WHIP (1.048 vs. 1.446), and BB/9 (3.2 vs. 3.3). One stat the Stieb does dominate over his counterpart is complete games, as the former right-hander had seven of them in his first season in the big leagues compared to Manoah’s zero. This most likely is due to the change in how pitchers were used back in the day compared to today’s day and age, but a stat that is impressive in comparison.

Next. Comparing Alek Manoah’s rookie season to former Blue Jays pitchers. dark

While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Manoah is on the same trajectory as Stieb when it comes to future expectations, it is interesting to see how the right-hander stacks up compared to the Blue Jays legend, a sign of hopefully great things to come for Manoah and the Jays.

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