Blue Jays: An adjustment coming for Alek Manoah in 2023
MLB officially announced some rule changes that will come into effect next season, and Alek Manoah may be one of the most impacted players.
Why would that be the case? I say that because one of the rules that MLB will start is the implementation of a pitch clock. It’s been used at the minor league level, but now big league pitchers are going to have to be more conscious of how long they take between deliveries.
According to the new rule, pitchers will have 15 seconds to make a pitch when the bases are empty, and the limit jumps up to 20 seconds if there are runners on. Those parameters won’t bother the average big league pitcher all that much, but the Blue Jays have a few pitchers that are anything but ordinary.
Near the top of the list would be Alek Manoah, who is in the midst of a sophomore season that will garner him legitimate Cy Young consideration. The 24 year old is 14-7 with a 2.42 ERA and a 0.994 WHIP across 27 starts that cover 171.0 inning pitched. Simply put, he’s been the Blue Jays’ best starter overall, and one of the best in baseball in general.
The reason that I’m saying the new rules could impact him is because of the amount of time he takes in between pitches. As I was cruising social media reading reactions from various baseball fans and writers on Friday, I came across a tweet from @alexfast8, who is the VP at pitcherlist.com, a website devoted to pitching statistics. Alex pointed out that Alek is the 4th slowest to the plate among MLB pitchers when there are no runners on base.
I’m very confident that Manoah will be able to make the adjustment without much problem, but it’s not exactly a small thing. Tempo is a big thing for pitchers are nearly any level, and it’s an important part of feeling comfortable and confident on the mound. The data says that Manoah doesn’t like to be rushed, and I’m sure he likely won’t care for this new rule.
As I said though, I don’t think this is going to be a major issue for the big right-hander. Throughout his short MLB career thus far he has shown a willingness and a veteran ease with making adjustments on the fly. He’s shown composure on the mound that comes with maturity beyond his years, and I don’t think this is going to be a serious hurdle that he’ll have to overcome.
It will be an adjustment for the Florida native though, and one that he’ll likely start thinking about over the offseason. For the time being though, Manoah will go about his business as usual, taking his time and dominating big league hitters.