Baseball is a humbling game. We get reminders of that every day throughout the course of a Major League Baseball season. One of the most eye-popping examples from 2023 has been what’s happened to Blue Jays hurler Alek Manoah. He’s been in the minor leagues getting a reset, but his first Florida Complex League outing against the FCL Yankees won’t make him feel like any progress has been made.
Toronto optioned Manoah to the FCL, which is Rookie Ball, at the beginning of June. That happened after he posted a 6.36 ERA with a 1.90 WHIP through 58 innings. Many of us assumed this would be a time for him to hit the reset button and use all the resources the Blue Jays have down in Florida.
The next step in his reset took place on Tuesday with a start against the FCL Yankees. Manoah tossed 2.2 innings, and the results were…less than ideal, to say the least:
ALEK MANOAH JUST FINISHED HIS FIRST START IN THE FLORIDA COMPLEX LEAGUE AND OH MY GOD
— Addison (@YankeeWRLD) June 27, 2023
I’m not gonna lie — I couldn’t believe my eyes. This line is so bad that I actually thought it was satire and it was photoshopped. But it’s not because I went to go find the box score myself and it’s the real thing.
Now, we’ve seen pitchers of his caliber/track record not put up dominant numbers in rehab/spring training/minor-league outings before. Many times, they’re working on something specific and don’t care too much about the results.
But for someone like Manoah, who has struggled as much as he has so far in 2023, this doesn’t look good. He can only go up from here, right?
It’s amazing how quickly things can change, though. Just last year, Manoah was striking out hitters in the All-Star Game and finished third in American League Cy Young voting. Now, he’s giving up 11 runs on 10 hits in less than three innings to Rookie Ball hitters. Woof.
Maybe he should’ve taken back his comments calling Gerrit Cole the biggest cheater in baseball history: