Option 3: Stick with your ace
This final option might be the least popular with Jays fans and prognosticators right now, but if there is one argument for continuing to send Manoah out there every fifth day while he is struggling like this, it’s that, well, you know it’s in there.
Over the past two seasons, Manoah has been no less than one of the best pitchers in baseball, throwing up ERAs of 2.24 and 3.22, while making the All Star game and finishing third in Cy Young voting in 2022.
This isn’t the same type of situation as, say, Orioles super-prospect Grayson Rodriguez, who since making his major league debut to great fanfare earlier this season has pitched to a 7.35 ERA, and oh, by the way, was only born one year before Manoah.
While Orioles fans are hoping Rodriguez can be a good major leaguer, Blue Jays fans know Manoah can be one.
And really, who among us hasn’t watched a Manoah start over the last two months waiting with bated breath for him to find it again. Perhaps, like that famous meme, the breakthrough is inches away …
Last year, as the Jays waited for Berrios and Kikuchi to try to figure it out, they spent every day of the season in a playoff spot. This year, however, they are not only looking up at the Rays on top of the American League East, but at the Orioles, Astros, and Yankees in the Wild Card race, not to mention the rebuilt Texas Rangers, who sit atop the AL West.
Simply, the Jays are not good enough at this moment in time to have essentially an automatic loss every fifth day. Think ‘automatic loss’ is too strong a statement? The Jays have literally lost every single game started by Manoah in May and June (0-7).
If the Jays truly see themselves as contenders in 2023, they probably don’t have much more time to wait for Manoah to figure it out.
Whatever the Jays decide to do, let’s hope it works, because Manoah is such a pleasure to watch when he’s on. That said, what do you think they should do? Let me know on Twitter – @WriteFieldDeep.