Much news has been made recently about Toronto Blue Jays’ starter and ace Alek Manoah with regards to his struggles this year, along with his subsequent demotion to the minors on Tuesday to work on his mechanics in the Florida Complex League. After having a Cy Young-caliber type season in 2022, very few people were expecting such a great regression in performance by Manoah in 2023. Not only was he battling his control and command all season, but it was recently revealed he had been battling with his focus and mentality as well.
In doing so, Manoah has set career lows in ERA, ERA+, OBA, WHIP, FIP, and strikeout-to-walk ratio so far this season, and had fallen mightily from his dominant self in the season prior. However, if we take a closer look at some of the other notable front-end starters around the league, one would be surprised to find that it actually hasn’t been just Manoah that has been struggling big time. In fact, there have been quite a few star-caliber pitchers that have joined the club of below-par pitching performances for the 2023 season.
Sandy Alcántara, Miami Marlins
The one that stands out right away is reigning NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcántara of the Miami Marlins. Alcántara has posted one of the worst starts to a season for a pitcher after being crowned a Cy Young winner the previous year. For the season, he owns a record of 2-5 with a 5.07 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, ERA+ of 86, giving up 43 earned runs, six home runs, 25 walks and 67 strikeouts over 76.1 innings pitched. This is a far cry from the 2.28 ERA and ERA+ of 176 that he posted last year on his way to capturing his first ever Cy Young award. But similar to the Jays, the rest of the Marlins’ pitching staff has picked him up, so the team overall still has a winning record despite his struggles.