Decision Time: What should the Blue Jays do with Alek Manoah?

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Option 2: Send him to the minors

If Manoah needs to overhaul his mechanics, it will be all but impossible to do against big league hitters in meaningful games. The good news is that unlike José Berríos during his struggles last year, Manoah has options remaining and can be sent to the minor leagues without exposing him to waivers.

The best thing to do right now might be to send Manoah to Triple-A, or perhaps lower than that, and let him tinker with his mechanics against minor league hitters in a low-stress environment.

If you want to be optimistic about this option, you might reminisce fondly on the incredible journey of Roy Halladay. After breaking into the big leagues with two promising years, ‘Doc’ put up an ERA of 10.64 in his third year and was sent all the way back down to A-ball to completely rebuild his delivery. When he returned, he only went on to become possibly the greatest pitcher in Blue Jays franchise history.

The downside

If the Jays are going to send Manoah to the minors, they will, of course, need to replace him in the rotation. This is where things get dicey.

To put it bluntly, the options within the organization are somewhere between poor and non-existent.

Down at Triple-A Buffalo, there is exactly one starting pitcher with an ERA under 4.50 – Bowden Francis, a 27-year-old with a 3.45 ERA for the Bisons and 0.2 career innings pitched in the majors, not exactly a blue chip prospect.

If not him, do the Jays turn back to Mitch White, days after John Schneider announced he was no longer a starting pitching option? Do they dive a level deeper and tap Adam Kloffenstein, a 22-year-old who has impressed with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, but is only a few months removed from a 6.07 ERA at Double-A in 2022?

One thing is for sure, 20-year-old phenom Ricky Tiedemann is not about to ride in and save the day. He hasn’t pitched since May 4 due to bicep discomfort, and before that, had a 4.97 ERA in Double-A.

You know the options are lacking when people are calling for the team to sign scrap heap free agents like Chris Archer or Michael Pineda.

The point is, unless the Jays are going to ambush the trade market early and attempt to pry away someone like Corbin Burnes, Lucas Giolito, Shane Bieber, etc. from their respective teams, there aren’t really any glaring options begging for a shot in the Jays rotation.