Toronto Blue Jays: Alek Manoah puts himself on MLB radar

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah (75) throws a pitch. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah (75) throws a pitch. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Blue Jays have assembled a strong depth of prospect talent during the Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins era and now we’re seeing them getting closer to reaching the big leagues.

We saw a glimpse last season of what Nate Pearson can bring to the team’s rotation but injuries have held him back as he continues to work his way back to MLB. This past week another pitching prospect put himself in the spotlight in a similar way that Pearson did when he was in the minors.

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Making his debut with the Buffalo Bison, Alek Manoah went six innings against the Worcester Red Sox allowing no runs while recording 12 strikeouts. The only criticism was the fact that Manoah hit three batters which allowed him to humble himself a bit.

After a performance like that and seeing how banged up the starting rotation has been for the Blue Jays, fans are wondering when the 22-year-old becomes a consideration to be called up. It’s quite impressive that a player who never pitched about Single-A was able to dominate tougher competition in Triple-A.

It’s quite an intriguing development for Toronto considering Julian Merryweather, Anthony Castro, Tommy Milone, and Thomas Hatch are among some of the pitchers on the injured list right now. Some would think that Manoah would easily get onto the roster as a reliever since he has a strong four-seam fastball and slider.

However, the Blue Jays have shown that they would rather develop their top prospects into starters. Manoah would have a higher ceiling pitching out of the rotation than as a reliever but he will need to show that his other pitches can be productive against major league hitters.

Many will be watching Manoah’s next few starts to see if this is something we can look forward to in a Blue Jays uniform sooner rather than later.

Toronto Blue Jays: Nate Pearson’s promotion shouldn’t be too far away

There is only one thing keeping Nate Pearson from being in the Blue Jays starting rotation. His health.

The team’s top pitching prospect has been working his way back from a groin injury he suffered in spring training. Pearson told Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling that he has been working on new mechanics that would take some of the strain off his body.

He went 3.2 innings with the Bisons on May 5 recording eight strikeouts while allowing a run on four hits. In that game, he made sure to mix in his changeup with his fastball and slider recording 53 strikes on 78 pitches.

The Blue Jays will likely let Pearson pitch another outing in Triple-A before bring him back up. There is no reason why he shouldn’t be the first one to get the call when the time is right since he was pegged to be a part of the rotation before the season began.

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What are your thoughts on Manoah’s debut with the Bisons? Should he be called up to the Blue Jays this season? When does Pearson make his way back? Let us know in the comments below.