Blue Jays send struggling Manoah to rookie ball
The Toronto Blue Jays optioned 2022 AL Cy Young finalist Alek Manoah to the Florida Complex League after his latest rough outing, the team announced Tuesday.
The FCL Blue Jays are considered rookie level.
There is no specific timeline for Manoah's return to the majors. "Whenever he's ready is when he's ready," manager John Schneider stated, according to Keegan Matheson of MLB.com.
"It wasn't an easy conversation," Schneider added, according to Sports Illustrated's Mitch Bannon. "You know, he understands that the performance hasn't really been there ... took it about as good as you could take it."
Manoah's demotion is part of a flurry of moves, highlighted by the Jays selecting right-handed pitcher Bowden Francis to the active roster. He'll most likely take Manoah's spot in the rotation.
Infielder Santiago Espinal was also reinstated from the injured list, while right-hander Jay Jackson and infielder Ernie Clement were optioned to Triple-A. To clear a spot on the 40-man for Francis, right-hander Zach Thompson was designated for assignment.
Right-hander Chris Bassitt was also reinstated from the paternity list.
Manoah has struggled to a 6.36 ERA and 6.52 FIP over 13 starts this year. The 25-year-old is coming off a particularly horrendous game against the Houston Astros on Monday, during which he allowed six runs on seven hits and one walk while only recording one out.
Francis, meanwhile, made four starts with Triple-A Buffalo this year, posting a 3.45 ERA and 1.34 WHIP over 15 2/3 innings. The 27-year-old made his major-league debut in April 2022, recording two outs out of the bullpen.
Manoah is coming off a sensational sophomore campaign in which he made the 2022 All-Star Game and authored a 2.24 ERA and 3.35 FIP over 31 starts (196 2/3 innings) to finish third in AL Cy Young voting. In 2021, he received downballot AL Rookie of the Year consideration, posting a 3.22 ERA and 3.80 FIP in 20 starts.