Blue Jays: Alek Manoah making an early case for the AL Cy Young Award

Miguel Mike Medina
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 13: Alek Manoah #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on from the dugout against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on June 13, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 13: Alek Manoah #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on from the dugout against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on June 13, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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Blue Jays’ pitcher Alex Manoah has been nothing but short of spectacular since his big league debut. I knew that he was going to be something special for this team. Manoah is pitching himself into the American League Cy Young conversation. What other pitcher could be standing in Alex Manoah’s way for the hardware this season?

Justin Verlander could be a potential threat to Manoah for the Cy Young. It’s incredible the numbers he’s putting at the age of 39. The future Hall of Famer is not showing any signs of slowing down after having a Tommy John surgery.

He’s posted an 8-2 record with an impressive 1.94 ERA, 78 strikeouts, and 0.81 WHIP in 12 starts. Verlander is no stranger to being the best pitcher in the regular season. The man won the AL Cy Young Award in 2011 and 2019. The Blue Jays were interested in signing him during the offseason, but Verlander decided to stay in Houston. The decision is paying off for him so far. Verlander is one of the biggest reasons the Houston Astros have been successful since being traded there in 2017.

Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah is off to a strong start this season, one that could turn into a Cy Young calibre campaign if he can continue to pitch well.

Alex Manoah is the most passionate pitcher on the Blue Jays roster. As I previously mentioned, his energy and passion for the game remind me of the late Jose Fernandez. Fernandez was 24 when he passed away, and Manoah is currently 24 years old. They’re both of Cuban descent and very talented. Manoah so far has posted an 8-1 record, 1.67 ERA, with 68 strikeouts and 0.91 WHIP in 12 starts. He had a strong performance last night against the Baltimore Orioles, striking out seven batters through six innings without giving up a run.

Of course, Manoah, just like any other good pitcher, has his flaws. This season, Manoah has been surrendering more hits against left-handed hitters. They are being very aggressive at the plate whenever Manoah uses his fastball. His strikeouts are a little down so far, but I don’t see it as a big issue. He is also still a bit wild on the mound, with five hit batters so far on the year. His changeup can be his biggest weapon if he continues to work on it.

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The Blue Jays are 12 games over .500 and currently in second place in the American League East behind the New York Yankees. However, they’re one game up in first place for the wild card, as the Tampa Bay Rays are right behind them. If Manoah can continue to pitch well this season, he could be the AL Cy Young winner for the 2022 campaign.

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