Alek Manoah - Improvement
Admittedly, while we are using the term improvement, it's a generous use of the word. It would be pretty tough for Alek Manoah to be any worse than he was this past season.
In every respect, Manoah's 2023 campaign was a complete disaster, both on and off the field. With most of it arguably of his own doing, he looked nothing like the pitcher who dominated the Majors the previous season.
With an inflated sense of ego and dare we say it midriff, the 25-year-old set himself up to fail, thinking that he'd already made it. Instead, from opening day as the staff ace onwards, everything trended in the wrong direction.
Manoah had single-season career worst statistics across the board, including a 5.87 ERA, 6.01 FIP and 1.740 WHIP. This was in stark contrast to his career bests a year earlier, of a 2.24 ERA, 3.35 FIP and 0.992 WHIP.
The question is, what can we expect next year? If nothing else at least FanGraphs have the 2022 All-Star improving, not that this is exactly the most daring of predictions.
Regardless, Manoah is projected to have a 4.75 ERA, 4.92 FIP and 1.39 WHIP. In addition, they have his strike rate improving from 19.0 percent to 20.7 percent, and walk rate from an unsightly 14.2 percent to 9.4 percent.
Admittedly none of these statistics stand out as impressive, but any improvement has to help right ... right?!?! If nothing else, as per the Gate 14 Podcast, at least the Homestead, Florida native appears to be putting the work in to improve,
In addition, general manager Ross Atkins has indicated Manoah will be given every opportunity to secure the fifth spot in the rotation next season. Certainly he has the talent to succeed, and even potentially outperform the projections FanGraphs have for him.