“I just want to make sure he’s here before I say yes to you,” manager Charlie Montoyo said of whether acquiring the club’s deadline would fill the TBA slot in the rotation, “Because, as you know, it was not easy to get on. “
No, it doesn’t, but the afternoon following Friday’s emotional reunion felt a lot more like a normal summer day at Rogers Center. A crowd of 13,953 once again provided noise and energy beyond its size, with regular chants of “Let’s Go, Blue Jays” under a roof that began to open, closed because of the rain to recede once the sky cleared a few innings later, like any other the other day in the grind.
To that end, Alek Manoah returned from the injured list to pitch seven white innings in a 4-0 win, delivering the type of performance that led to his rapid rise in the big leagues earlier this season. While the Royals’ roster isn’t going to scare anyone off, the 23-year-old effectively kept the game under wraps, generating both a lot of swing and misfires, with 14 puffs and a soft touch, which got him in. deep in the game. after returning from a minor back injury.
His speed was slightly below his season average – his four-stitch machine was at 92.4 mph instead of the usual 94 – but considering his relative lack of work since slipping and falling on steps of rain-soaked canoes in Buffalo, it’s not entirely surprising.
Regardless, George Springer gave him a 1-0 lead by sending Mike Minor’s first pitch of the day down the second bridge into left field, then tripled the advantage with a two-point shot down the center-right. at the third. Marcus Semien’s triple RBI in the sixth extended the margin and it was cruising time from there.
Springer finding his comfort zone bodes well for the Blue Jays, who will need him to deliver about a production and a half victory he plans to deliver in the last third of the season, but Manoah is just as important. , both in the short and the long term.
With doubles programs looming on August 7 against Boston and August 10 in Anaheim, the Blue Jays plan to run a six-man rotation to get through the process and then figure out how to proceed from there. Maximizing Berrios, one of the most enduring pitchers in the sport, is a priority and how many innings they can put on Manoah is a question, but as it stands, one would think there is still.
Getting it through wire-to-wire is also important for next season, when the Blue Jays will now have Berrios to pair with Hyun Jin Ryu, as well as Ross Stripling and Manoah. It’s a good place to start, Nate Pearson and Thomas Hatch are somewhere in that mix, but a replacement will be needed if Robbie Ray can’t be re-signed and replacing that quality of performance won’t be easy.
That’s part of why the Blue Jays were ready to put Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson up for a season and a half of Berrios. Getting his starter caliber to sign in the American League East is a difficult task and the Blue Jays now have an additional lead to draw him in for the longer term.
They are also more attractive to free agents with him and Ryu leading a group of positional players including Springer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez.
Still, if Manoah can emerge in a mid-term rotation or better, it will provide the roster with the essential financial efficiency of a pre-arbitration launcher, allowing resources to be directed elsewhere.
Outings like the one he delivered on Saturday strengthen the reasons to be confident in the child, both now and in the future.