Blue Jays: Where does Alek Manoah stack up for the Cy Young?

Sep 7, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah (6) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the sixth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 7, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah (6) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the sixth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports /

Alek Manoah polished off one of his best career starts Wednesday night to finish off a four-game series by the Toronto Blue Jays against the Baltimore Orioles. He ended up tossing eight innings of one run ball to help the Jays take three of the four games.

While it wasn’t Manoah’s best career start, that would have to go to his performance from last September against the Tampa Bay Rays when he tossed eight innings striking out ten without allowing a run on one hit; this was his best this season and most important.

A night after a heated affair that went in favour of the Orioles, Manoah put a nix on any hope that Baltimore had of inching closer in the Wild Card standings.  Manoah allowed two hits and a run in the first inning, followed by a two out walk to Gunnar Henderson, however, from there Manoah got 22 of the next 23 batters out.  The only person to reach base was Adley Rutschman in the bottom of the six, however, plate umpire Malachi Moore missed a clear strike three on the rookie catcher.  Manoah battled through and did not let it effect him and he pitched through eight innings leaving the game with a  4-1 lead .  Manoah stated in his post-game interview that manager John Schneider told him if he had a shutout he would have let the big right handed thrower go back out for the ninth, but instead went with Jordan Romano to close out the game.

The outing by Manoah marked the 21st time in 27 starts that he had pitched at least six complete innings and the second time he got through the eighth inning.  Each of those outings are considered quality starts (at least six innings and three or less runs allowed), in fact, of the six appearances Manoah has not finished six innings he has allowed more than three runs just four times, all of which were four earned runs.

Manoah is likely not the front runner for the Cy Young Award for 2022, but how close is the 24-year old?  The leading candidate I would suggest would be Justin Verlander who is 16-3 with a 1.84 ERA and 0.855 WHIP, compared to Manoah’s 14-7 record with a 2.42 ERA and 0.994 WHIP.  What might hurt Verlander is he is currently on the 15-day injured list (IL) and hasn’t pitched since the end of August.  MLB’s Brian McTaggart reported yesterday that Verlander is eligible to return from the IL on September 14, but he is likely to need more time as he battles back from a fascial disruption.  Verlander has started 24 games this year, 20 of which he completed at least six innings, with all but one outing being a quality start.  Manoah sits one out behind Gerrit Cole from leading the league in innings pitched, while Verlander sits 15th.

Alek Manoah is having a dominate second season in the major leagues and is already knocking on the door for the American League Cy Young.

Dylan Cease and Shane McClanahan are the two other pitchers who I think would have the potential of finishing in the mix for the Cy Young.  Cease sits second in the league in ERA and he is finishing the season strong with two recent dominant outings, including a complete game shutout in his latest outing against the Minnesota Twins.  Manoah has Cease beat in quality starts by seven, however, Cease has tossed seven different games of seven innings and no earned runs allowed.  Manoah currently has Cease beat in WHIP, innings pitched, and wins.

McClanahan is the last argument I’d have for a potential pitcher who could finish ahead of Manoah for the Cy Young, at least as of today.  The Tampa Bay Rays pitcher sits second in the league in WHIP (0.862) and is the only starter in the AL that has pitched at least 130 innings and has yet to give up 100 hits on the season.  However, like Verlander, McClanahan hasn’t pitched since the end of August due to a shoulder injury and is currently on the day 15-day IL, but good news for Rays fans is that he appears to be getting closer to return and may miss the minimum 15 days.  When it comes down to Manoah and McClanahan their ERA’s are only 0.22 apart as the Rays starter has the lower number at 2.20.  Manoah has McClanahan beat in wins, quality starts and innings pitched.

Overview of numbers:
1.84 – Justin Verlander
2.13 – Dylan Cease
2.20 – Shane McClanahan
2.42 – Alek Manoah

16 – Justin Verlander
14 – Alek Manoah
13 – Dylan Cease
11 – Shane McClanahan

Innings Pitched:
171.0 – Alek Manoah
156.0 – Dylan Cease
152.0 – Justin Verlander
147.1 – Shan McClanahan

0.855 – Justin Verlander
0.862 – Shane McClanahan
0.994 – Alek Manoah
1.077 – Dylan Cease

Quality Starts:
21 – Alek Manoah
19 – Justin Verlander
18 – Shane McClanahan
14 – Dylan Cease

5.5 – Dylan Cease
4.7 – Justin Verlander
4.6 – Alek Manoah
3.9 – Shane McClanahan

Next. Former Jays pitchers and their return appearance in Toronto. dark

Who do you think deserves the Cy Young award at this point in the season?  Do you think Manoah has had a good enough season to be top four?